Coontz, Stephanie.

The way we never were : American families and the nostalgia trap / Stephanie Coontz. - Pbk. ed with new introduction. - New York, NY : BasicBooks, 2000, c1992. - viii, 391 p. ; 21 cm.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [377]-379) and index.

The way we wish we were : defining the family crisis -- "Leave it to Beaver" and "Ozzie and Harriet" : American families in the 1950s -- "My mother was a saint" : individualism, gender myths, and the problem of love -- We always stood on our own two feet : self-reliance and the American family -- Strong families, the foundation of a virtuous society : the family and civic responsibility -- A man's home is his castle : the family and outside intervention -- Bra-burners and family bashers : feminism, working women, consumerism, and the family -- "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Mary with a baby carriage" : marriage, sex, and reproduction -- Toxic parents, supermoms, and absent fathers : putting parenting in perspective -- Pregnant girls, wilding boys, crack babies, and the underclass : the myth of black family collapse -- The crisis reconsidered.

Looks at two centuries of American family life and shatters myths and misconceptions about the past.

0465090974 (pbk.) 9780465090976 (pbk.)


Families--History--United States--20th century.

United States--Social conditions.

HQ535 / .C643 2000