- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Beacon Press (March 18, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780807041352
- ISBN-13: 978-0807041352
- ASIN: 0807041351
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,415,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Is Marriage For?: The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution
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The Amazon Book Review
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Frequently bought together
E. J. Graff's What Is Marriage For? is the place to start reading for anyone thinking about the words 'lesbian,' 'gay,' and 'marriage' in the same sentence. It's engaging, it's fun, and it puts the lie to those prophets of gloom and doom who think every push for greater equality-whether it be women's suffrage, reproductive rights, or interracial marriage-signals the end of civilization. --Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry
"A thought-provoking review of the vicissitudes of this ancient institution." -Joseph Glenmullen, Boston Globe
"A font of fascinating information . . . Graff marshals an array of sources and anecdotes dating back to the ancient Hebrews into a narrative that is . . . vivid and accessible." --Anne Kingston, Toronto Globe and Mail
"An enlightening romp through the history of marriage in western Europe and the U.S." -Cassandra West, Chicago Tribune
About the Author
E. J. Graff is a journalist and independent scholar whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Nation, The Village Voice, Out, and elsewhere. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center.
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The only thing that I didn't like about the book is that some of the facts that she brings up are not cited, and also, I think there are some factual errors here and there throughout the book. For example, she talks about how married couples would have been growing the same potatoes in the same fields as their parents for thousands of years...but potatoes aren't native to Europe, they were imported from America. Also, it seemed like she dismissed peasant marriages as not important, and yet I think of contemporary artwork (such as Pieter Brughel's painting of the peasant wedding feast) that seems to contradict this.
However, despite these minor flaws, it is still probably one of the best books I have ever read on the subject, and so I still give it 5 stars.
Most recent customer reviews
What Is Marriage For?
(Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1999)
(ISBN: 0-8070-4114-9; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: HQ734.Read more