I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jan 15, 2011 - Social Science - 272 pages
3 Reviews
For 10,000 years, marriage - and the idea of marriage -- has been at the very foundation of human society. In this provocative and ambitious book, Susan Squire unravels the turbulent history and many implications of our most basic institution. Starting with the discovery, long before recorded time, that sex leads to paternity (and hence to couplehood), and leading up to the dawn of the modern "love marriage," Squire delves into the many ways men and women have come together and what the state of their unions has meant for history, society, and politics - especially the politics of the home.
This book is the product of 13 years of intense research, but even more than the intellectual scope, what sets it apart is Squire's voice and contrarian boldness. Learned, acerbic, opinionated, and funny, she draws on everything from Sumerian mythology to Renaissance theater to Victorian housewife's manuals (sometimes all at the same time) to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic view of the many things marriage has been and has meant. The result is a book that will provoke and fascinate readers of all ideological stripes: feminists, traditionalists, conservatives and progressives alike.

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User Review  - ratastrophe - LibraryThing

Lots of fun to read....but not enough substance. I was promised "A Contrarian History of Marriage", but what I got instead was a glossy account (albeit amusing and well-written) of gender discord and ... Read full review

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

This is a witty, often hilariously humorous book, the history of marriage in the West from antiquity to the Reformation. Given how dismal much of that history is, Squire somehow managed to keep me (a ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Susan Squire is the author of The Slender Balance and For Better, For Worse: A Candid Chronicle of Five Couples Adjusting to Parenthood. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Playboy, New York magazine, and the Washington Post, among many others. She has been married to book editor David Hirshey for 19 years.

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