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The subversive family : an alternative history of love and marriage

Author: Ferdinand Mount
Publisher: New York : Free Press ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The family is a subversive organization. In fact, it is the ultimate and only consistently subversive organization." With these words, Ferdinand Mount begins what has come to be regarded as one of the most influential works of social history in recent times. Published to acclaim in England and throughout Europe, The Subversive Family now makes its first appearance in America. At a time when public discussions of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Mount, Ferdinand, 1939-
Subversive family.
New York : Free Press ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992
(OCoLC)756455580
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ferdinand Mount
ISBN: 0029219922 9780029219928
OCLC Number: 26401387
Description: ix, 282 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Part One: The Myths --
Marriage and the Church --The State and the Family --
Is the Family an Historical Freak? --
The Myth of the Extended Family --
Matchmaking and Lovemaking --
The Troubadour Myth --
The Myth of the Indifferent Mother --
Where Did the Historians Go Wrong? --
Part Two: The Family Then and Now --
The Family-haters --
Privacy and the Working Class --
The Dilution of Fraternity --
The Recovery of Divorce --
Women, Power and Marriage --
And Afterwards?
Responsibility: Ferdinand Mount.

Abstract:

"The family is a subversive organization. In fact, it is the ultimate and only consistently subversive organization." With these words, Ferdinand Mount begins what has come to be regarded as one of the most influential works of social history in recent times. Published to acclaim in England and throughout Europe, The Subversive Family now makes its first appearance in America. At a time when public discussions of divorce, child support, gender inequality, adoption, care for the aged, and all manner of family issues are taking new and unanticipated turns, Mount provides us with a history of the family that will pique the interest, and often the ire, of all parties in the debate. Mount argues that our society has been shaped by a series of powerful revolutionary movements, the leaders of which, whether they be politicians, theologians, feudal lords, or feminist writers, have done their utmost - ultimately unsuccessfully - to render the family subordinate to their purpose. He maintains that many widely held beliefs about the family are based on a willful misreading of the evidence promulgated by the Church, the state, and various ideologues; included among these are the myths that arranged marriages were the norm until this century; that child care is a modern invention; that in earlier societies children were treated as expendable objects; that the nuclear family is a twentieth century invention; and that romantic love never existed before the troubadour poets glorified adultery. Divorce, Mount contends, is no great novelty either. Irreverent and entertaining, The Subversive Family will jolt the reader into a fascinating reassessment of love and marriage and encourage greater consideration for policies today that support the family.

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