The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap “Leave It to Beaver” was not a documentary, Stephanie Coontz points out; neither the. By Stephanie Coontz In , I published The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap, a search for the supposed. The Way We Never Were has ratings and reviews. Wealhtheow said: Coontz presents the historical facts of American family life and political and.

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You think that we’ve got new and original family problems these days? Teenage pregnancy a modern problem, driven by easy access to birth control and the liberal media? Coontz looks at the history of families in the US to see what the true “traditional” families have been. The historical evidence reveals that families have always been in flux and often in crisis, and that families have been most successful wherever they have built meaningful networks beyond their own boundaries.

ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Jul neger, Colleen rated it it was amazing Shelves: Other than that, though, the book is excellent. I was pleasantly surprised that Coontz does much I wish I wrote this book!

This book is chock full of well-referenced information on many aspects of American living since nevfr early s. I don’t blame myself entirely for embracing this kind of thinking, which is endemic in my generation as well as in our increasingly polarized American communities, but I also can’t distance myself entirely from this approach to life. I doubt that culture can so totally override parents’ genetic tendencies to want to ensure the success of their own genetic offspring.


The s do not present a workable model of how to conduct our personal lives today, Coontz argues, and neither does any other era from our cultural past. This, in particular, is about our collective past.

Set up a giveaway. Using the family as a focal lens, the book generates a precise and intriguing image of American communities, economics, and politics in the early s.

The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap

This totally changed the way I think about the history of the past century. Pick a favorite presumption about American families during better times While this book was fascinating to me for intellectual reasons, it also achieved a deeper level of personal resonance.

She thought it would help me understand, frankly, that the demise of my marriage is hardly a new event in the course of human history – or one to be necessarily deeply lamented. We fall in love with ideals of our own creation and make up stories about them instead of dealing with reality as it is. Truthfully, I want to own this book so I can return to it often.

The Way We Never Were: American Families & the Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz

American Families and the Nostalgia Trap when Quayle blasted television character Murphy Brown for choosing to become a single mother. Hah– nothing is new under the sun.

In the nineteenth century, the age of sexual consent in some states was nine or ten, and alcoholism and drug abuse were more rampant than today Open Preview See a Problem? During WWII, Americans had saved at a rate more than three times higher than in the decades before or since.


She mentions the fact that the greatest change since the ‘s has been the empowerment of women to take charge of birth control when engaging in pre-marital sex and the opening of the workforce to middle class as well as working class women.

American Families and the Nostalgia Trap. And I was raised in what most people would find a freakishly conservative family.

I carefully parsed her assertions for signs of unfair bias, but ultimately had to conclude that her motives stem from a sincere desire to serve up an authentic historical wf, rather than from feckless ideology.

We have allowed the myth of self-sustaining nuclear families to strip people of their support networks and glorified a supposed self-reliance that has never existed.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed. She also fails to address the central role television has had in this national debate, albeit at the crux of her argument is the fictional American family conservatives love to cite as their model.

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It makes the same or very similar point over and over with a myriad of tidbits of documented American history. Apr 17, Donitello rated it really liked it.