Public Vows by Nancy F. Cott
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Public Vows
By Nancy F. Cott

Public Vows

A History of Marriage and the Nation

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Format: Paperback

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Public Vows by Nancy F. Cott

Book Description

EWe commonly think of marriage as a private matter between two people, a personal expression of love and commitment. In this pioneering history, Nancy F. Cott demonstrates that marriage is and always has been a public institution. From the founding of the United States to the present day, imperatives about the necessity of marriage and its proper form have been deeply embedded in national policy, law and political rhetoric. Legislators and judges have envisioned and enforced their preferred model of consensual, lifelong monogamy - a model derived from Christian tenets and the English common law that posits the husband as provider and the wife as dependent. In early confrontations with Native Americans, emancipated slaves, Mormon polygamists and immigrant spouses, through the invention of the New Deal, federal income tax, and welfare programmes, the federal government consistently influenced the shape of marriages. And even the immense social and legal changes of the last third of the 20th century have not unravelled official reliance on marriage as a "pillar of state". By excluding some kinds of marriages and encouraging others, marital policies have helped to sculpt the nation's citizenry, as well as its moral and social standards, and have directly affected national understandings of gender roles and racial difference. "Public Vows" is a panoramic view of marriage's political history, revealing the national government's profound role in our most private of choices. No one who reads this book will think of marriage in the same way again.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674008755
ISBN-10: 0674008758
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 21mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Nancy F. Cott

Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975 by Nancy F. Cott Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, Hardback (September 2006)

Documents the key feminists who ignited the second wave women's movement. This work tells the stories of more than two thousand individual women and a few notable men who together reignited the women's movement and made permanent changes to entrenched customs and laws.

No Small Courage by Nancy F. Cott No Small Courage, Paperback (May 2004)

Boasting 100 illustrations, lively anecdotes, and skillfully written narratives by leading experts, "No Small Courage" captures the variety and importance of American women's experience, demonstrating that the history of our nation cannot be fully understood without focusing on changes in women's lives.

Bonds of Womanhood by Nancy F. Cott Bonds of Womanhood, Hardback (September 1997)

This 20th anniversary edition of the text includes a new preface in which the author discusses how other works that have followed have opened up fresh avenues of analysis.

» View all books by Nancy F. Cott


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Author Biography - Nancy F. Cott

Nancy F. Cott is Professor of History at Harvard University.

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Recent books by Nancy F. Cott close
Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975 by Nancy F. Cott
No Small Courage by Nancy F. Cott
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