The word “nostalgia” should always be written in pink, because it, itself, implies a rose-colored glass-tinged world. Nothing embraces this idea more than the way we talk about and think about the concept of family. There’s an idea–particularly in the U.S.–that there was a time that was a golden age for “true families.” You know, the “Leave it to Beaver” kind. Well, family’s always been a complicated, multifaceted creature.
The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz. Amazon for $10.85. The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.
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