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  • The Way We Never Were

  • American Families and the Nostalgia Trap
  • By: Stephanie Coontz
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 49 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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The Way We Never Were

By: Stephanie Coontz
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
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Summary

The definitive edition of the classic, myth-shattering history of the American family

Leave It to Beaver was not a documentary, a man's home has never been his castle, the "male breadwinner marriage" is the least traditional family in history, and rape and sexual assault were far higher in the 1970s than they are today. In The Way We Never Were, acclaimed historian Stephanie Coontz examines two centuries of the American family, sweeping away misconceptions about the past that cloud current debates about domestic life. The 1950s 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 revised edition includes a new introduction and epilogue, exploring how the clash between growing gender equality and rising economic inequality is reshaping family life, marriage, and male-female relationships in our modern era.

More relevant than ever, The Way We Never Were is a potent corrective to dangerous nostalgia for an American tradition that never really existed.

©1992, 2016 Stephanie Coontz (P)2019 Hachette Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"A wonderfully perceptive, myth-debunking report.... An important contribution to the current debate on family values." (Publishers Weekly)

"Historically rich, and loaded with anecdotal evidence, The Way We Never Were effectively demolishes the normal, traditional nuclear family as neither normal nor traditional, and not even nuclear." (Nation)

"Clear, incisive, and distinguished by Coontz's personal conviction and by its vast range of cogent examples, including capsule histories of women in the labor force and of black families. Fascinating, persuasive, politically relevant." (Kirkus Reviews

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  • Richard Stine
  • 29-06-21

fantastic report on the dangers of nostalgia

fantastic i loved every moment of it

wonderfully researched and very enlightening

narrator was fantastic as well

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Junie R.
  • 04-12-20

Interesting and Informative

There is a lot of information in this book. It took me a while to finish the audio. I would've like more information on the intersection of race to be included throughout the book otherwise I enjoyed it.