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Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the…
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Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (edició 2001)

de Nancy F. Cott (Autor)

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1654168,936 (3.71)2
This volume examines the political history of marriage, analysing the shaping of the accepted model of consensual, lifelong monogamy by legislators and judges throughout American history.
Títol:Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation
Autors:Nancy F. Cott (Autor)
Informació:Harvard University Press (2001), Edition: First Edition, 304 pages
Col·leccions:Book, History, La teva biblioteca

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Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation de Nancy F. Cott

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Ostensibly about the history of marriage in the US, this book actually spend a good deal of time touching on the path to citizenship of many races and nationalities of people through the nations history. Although it has only a brief version of each, it's definitely has made me want to read more on these topics. Now to attempt to find good books on the immediate post slavery era and the history of Japanese American immigration…

I also found the section on Social Security and race very interesting and want to know more but this book did not go into enough detail (this is not necessarily a criticism as it is not the main point of this book). Need to find a book on that as well.

In general, I very much like reading this kind of book which summarizes it straight through the lens of one particular topic. It is often shocking to see how fast things change and just how little time has passed since certain norms were seem to be unavoidable that now seem unthinkable.

Obviously, the final chapter of this particular book does need an update and a new edition would probably be quite welcome. This is copyright 2000 and obviously there have been significant updates in marital policy since then. Nonetheless this book has been quite interesting and worthwhile, and I very much enjoyed reading it. ( )
  theosakakoneko | Feb 15, 2020 |
Interesting. It had just the information I was looking for regarding bi-racial marriages in the US at the turn of the century. I now understand why gay marriage is a difficult subject. ( )
  paulamcconnell | Oct 3, 2008 |
This is an outstanding review of the history of the institution of marriage! It is a very easy read, also. It traces how the federal government has defined marriage since the founding of the Republic. Christian marriage was a consensual submission of the wife to the authority of the husband, as the citizen makes a social contract with the state. Monogamy was connected to virtue and republicanism while polygamy was connected to coercion and despotism (as in Turkey). Although marriage was regulated by the federal govt., the exact requirements were defined by State governments. Although there were discrepancies between states, the evolution of marriage generally followed the same trajectory across the country. Eventually, however, the federal government took a more and more active role in making marriage requirements more uniform.

In addition to marriage as a central institution of the republic, the public sanction of marriage also defined citizenship. Non-whites were excluded. In addition, polygamist groups were condemned to the point that Cott says that Mormons were considered non-white in the nineteenth century.

Cott traces the evolution of marriage through the end of the twentieth century, examining how it has changed in recent decades. She cites examples of how marriage is becoming more flexible. This is partly because women are assuming a greater place in the workforce and society in general, allowing them options other than marrying or staying in a bad marriage. Lower marriage and birth rates, higher rates of divorce and co-habitation before marriage demonstrate that marriage is declining in importance as an institution.

Cott skirts the issue of homosexual marriage, giving very little time. Since this is relatively recent addition to the national agenda, it is not surprising that a historian does not examine it closes. Hopefully someone of Cott's caliber will examine it as thoroughly in the near future. ( )
  Scapegoats | Nov 7, 2007 |
An intersting book about a womans role in the institution of marriage and how the said institution is delicately tied to political ideology. The book was stale at some points and the word 'repitition' comes to mind. Of particular intrest to me throughout the book was the female role in the marriage and how she deprived of a political role after marriage. ( )
  jnsmith1 | Nov 6, 2007 |
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This volume examines the political history of marriage, analysing the shaping of the accepted model of consensual, lifelong monogamy by legislators and judges throughout American history.

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