Imatge de l'autor

Marilyn Yalom (1932–2019)

Autor/a de A History of the Wife

14+ obres 1,913 Membres 45 Ressenyes 2 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Marilyn Yalom is a senior scholar at the Institute for Women and Gender at Stanford University
Nota de desambiguació:

(yid) VIAF:24633545

Crèdit de la imatge: Reid Yalom

Obres de Marilyn Yalom

Obres associades

Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions (1982) — Editor — 61 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom normalitzat
Yalom, Marilyn
Nom oficial
Yalom, Marilyn Koenick
Altres noms
Koenick, Marilyn (birth name)
Data de naixement
Data de defunció
Lloc de naixement
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Lloc de defunció
Palo Alto, California, USA
Causa de la mort
multiple myeoma
Llocs de residència
Washington, D.C., USA
Palo Alto, California, USA
Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D, 1963)
Harvard University (M.A.T., 1956)
Wellesley College (B.A., 1954)
University of Paris-Sorbonne (Diplôme de Littérature Contemporaine, 1953)
scholar of gender studies
scholar of French literature
university professor
Yalom, Irvin (husband)
Yalom, Reid S. (son)
Stanford University
California State University, Hayward
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Premis i honors
Officier des Palmes Académiques (1992)
American Library in Paris Book Award (2013)
Biografia breu
Marilyn Yalom, a gender studies scholar and author, died at her home in Palo Alto, California, on November 20. She was 87 years old and had suffered from cancer.

Dr. Yalom was born in Chicago and later grew up in Washington D.C. She earned a bachelor's degree in French from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She held a master's degree in French and German from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Johns Hopkins University.

After a brief stint at the University of Hawaii, Dr. Yalom taught at California State University, Hayward (now CSU, East Bay) from 1963 to 1976. In 1976, she was hired as deputy director of the Center for Research on Women at Stanford University. Later, she was a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford, where she served as director from 1984 to 1985.
Nota de desambiguació



Yalom presents us with an engaging look at the history of the breast. The arrangement is roughly chronological, but she breaks away from the straight chronological presentation to divide the chapters thematically, subsequently exploring the breast as sacred, erotic, domestic, political, psychological, commercial, medicalized, and liberated.

To a large degree, the story of the breast is the story of women. Thus, if you've read much along those lines, much of that will be familiar. Even so, I found much that was new to me. The chapter the medicalized breast, which included a history of breast cancer treatments, was educational (and heart wrenching, at times).

My main criticism of this book is that it is primarily a history of the western and mostly upper class breast as seen by men. The second and third criticism -- upper class and the male gaze -- are hardly Yalom's fault. In fact, one of her themes throughout the book is how it is only in recent decades that women's voices have been able to openly speak about the breast. Before that men often defined the societal meaning of the breast, just as they defined women. And since much of that definition was through art, paintings and poetry in particular, that vision tended to focuses on upper class women.

But I am surprised at the lack of non-western perspective, beyond a couple scattered remarks. Just as it was an "ah hah" moment for my really feeling that attractiveness is socially constructed when I learned that the ideal French medieval breast was small and high, it would have been even more perspective stretching to see views of the breast in cultures I am less familiar with.

Overall, this was an engaging read.
… (més)
eri_kars | Hi ha 5 ressenyes més | Jul 10, 2022 |
This book describes the history of marriage as it relates to modern marriage in America. The lives of wives in the ancient world are examined by looking at wives in the Bible, Greek wives, and Roman wives. Yalom then marches on through history, examining Medieval Europe, early Protestant wives, republican wives in America and France, Victorian wives in England and the U.S. (including those on the frontier). She then gets into the more modern era and looks at the changing role of women and wives in the late 19th century and the history of issues such as sex, contraception, and abortion in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. Finally, she looks at wives in WWII and briefly examines how the role of the wife has changed in the last 50 years.

The common theme of this book is that what it means to be a wife is always changing with time and with culture. The so-called traditional nuclear family of a mother homemaker, a father breadwinner, and a couple of children is actually no more common than many other modes of family life. Throughout history, there have been times and places where both parents have worked, where children were sent elsewhere once they reached a certain ages, and where the household was much more diverse (extended family, servants, apprentices, etc.). Sometimes women were assumed to be more full of sexual desires than men and sometimes women were assumed to be frigid towers of purity.

Marriage can be an economic relationship, a political relationship, or a emotional relationship. These days, we think that it should be primarily an emotional relationship, but throughout much of history, that idea was ridiculous; marriage was a way to solidify political ties or increase your economic worth. Over time, love became an important factor in choosing a spouse, but it is only recently (since women started becoming more independent, in fact) that love and personality became the primary factors when choosing a spouse.

Yalom also makes the point that what seem like modern issues about sex, contraception, and abortion actually have histories going back hundreds of years (and a public history going back about 150 years). The unequal sexual freedoms accepted for men and women have been the issue of private discussion many centuries, and women have always shared the secrets of contraception and medicinally induced abortions since at least the middle ages. Ancient cultures practiced infanticide, and while it was never approved, there were times when it was certainly ignored. What changed in the last 150 years is that this discussion has become public.

In short, the role of the wife is constantly evolving (as are the closely related issues of the husband, children, and sex). Acknowledging this is important; it shows the error in thinking that marriage is now corrupted and ruined and that marriages of the past fit some idealized perfect mold. Marriage has always been changing; marriages may be less stable today, but beating ones wife and children is no longer acceptable. It is neither going downhill nor approaching some ideal; like all human institutions, it is just changing in response to the world around it and will continue to do so.
… (més)
eri_kars | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Jul 10, 2022 |
I enjoyed this book for it's historical content and contrasts to present day roles of being a wife. I admire the research that the Author did, but I felt there was a lost opportunity towards the end to expand on how the religious, cultural and society roles influenced the modern ways.

She touches lightly on some, but not at the depth of what she did in the earlier chapters. The pace changed a bit towards it's conclusion.

I really appreciated the light she shined on many of the issues that are often not spoken about. She provided a voice for many relationships and wives who did not and do not have the opportunity to do so. For that I'm grateful to her.

I learned alot, was surprised and overall would recommend if you love history.
… (més)
aladyinredpolish | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Jun 11, 2021 |


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