Good Toys, Bad Toys: How Safety, Society, Politics and Fashion Have Reshaped Children's Playthings
In early America, most children had only a few toys and parents received advice from family and friends on the best ways to make and use toys. By the early 1900s the Industrial Revolution was producing a new world of toys and giving more parents the wealth to buy them. Mass media also sang the praises of these new factory-made, store-bought toys, but that began to change as early as the mid-1900s when the mass media was used to inform parents of the many dangers of children's toys. Many encourage violence, sexism, racism, and some are actually unsafe and unhealthy.
The development of children's toys from early America to the present time and the shifting opinions of them expressed by parents and the mass media throughout this time are the main subjects of this book. The first section discusses the many problems with toys, while the second puts these problems in historical perspective. How have these problems changed, and are still changing today? Might today's toys be about to enter a time when they will be better than ever? The third section argues that many media toy watchers are biased toward the negative, giving toys more of a black eye than they deserve, and considers the challenges that face today's parents as they try to choose the best toys for their children.
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