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Mom : The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America

By: Plant, Rebecca Jo.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (264 p.).ISBN: 9780226670232.Subject(s): Electronic books. -- local | Friedan, Betty -- Criticism and interpretation | Motherhood -- United States | Motherhood in popular culture -- United States | Wylie, Philip, -- 1902-1971 -- Criticism and interpretationGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Mom : The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern AmericaDDC classification: 306.8743 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- 1. Debunking the All-American Mom: Philip Wylie's Momism Critique -- 2. Mothers of the Nation: Patriotic Maternalism and Its Critics -- 3. Pathologizing Mother Love: Mental Health and Maternal Affectivity -- 4. Banishing the Suffering Mother: The Quest for Painless Childbirth -- 5. Mother-Blaming and The Feminine Mystique: Betty Friedan and Her Readers -- Notes -- Index
Summary: In the early twentieth century, Americans often waxed lyrical about "Mother Love," signaling a conception of motherhood as an all-encompassing identity, rooted in self-sacrifice and infused with social and political meaning. By the 1940s, the idealization of motherhood had waned, and the nation's mothers found themselves blamed for a host of societal and psychological ills. In Mom, Rebecca Jo Plant traces this important shift by exploring the evolution of maternalist politics, changing perceptions of the mother-child bond, and the rise of new approaches to childbirth pain and suffering. Plant
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Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- 1. Debunking the All-American Mom: Philip Wylie's Momism Critique -- 2. Mothers of the Nation: Patriotic Maternalism and Its Critics -- 3. Pathologizing Mother Love: Mental Health and Maternal Affectivity -- 4. Banishing the Suffering Mother: The Quest for Painless Childbirth -- 5. Mother-Blaming and The Feminine Mystique: Betty Friedan and Her Readers -- Notes -- Index

In the early twentieth century, Americans often waxed lyrical about "Mother Love," signaling a conception of motherhood as an all-encompassing identity, rooted in self-sacrifice and infused with social and political meaning. By the 1940s, the idealization of motherhood had waned, and the nation's mothers found themselves blamed for a host of societal and psychological ills. In Mom, Rebecca Jo Plant traces this important shift by exploring the evolution of maternalist politics, changing perceptions of the mother-child bond, and the rise of new approaches to childbirth pain and suffering. Plant

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Filling a void in the scholarship, historian Plant (Univ. of California, San Diego) offers an intriguing examination of the death of the "moral mother," a concept that, as many historians have argued, grew out of Republican motherhood and solidified in the US during the Victorian era. By the start of the 20th century, motherhood was seen as a woman's highest calling, a role marked by a mother's self-sacrifice and devotion to her children above all else. According to Plant, however, this notion of moral motherhood would be yet another casualty of the impact of modernity on US society, the assault beginning in the interwar years and accelerating after WW II. Using a vast array of primary sources, she argues that the critics of exalted motherhood were many, from Philip Wylie, who emphasized the negative impact on men, to Betty Friedan, who focused on the stultifying effects for women. In this way, Plant posits that "the demise of moral motherhood" led to the rise of the white middle-class women's movement in the 1960s. Well written and thoroughly researched, the book provides an engaging examination of the cultural reconstruction of motherhood in the modern US. Summing Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. K. B. Nutter SUNY Stony Brook

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p> Rebecca Jo Plant is associate professor of history at the University of California, San Diego.</p>

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