Cover: A World of Their Own Making: Myth, Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values, from Harvard University PressCover: A World of Their Own Making in PAPERBACK

A World of Their Own Making

Myth, Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values

Product Details


Print on Demand

$36.00 • £31.95 • €32.95

ISBN 9780674961883

Publication Date: 10/15/1997


336 pages

6 x 9-1/4 inches

4 halftones

Not for sale in UK & British Commonwealth (except Canada)

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Synthesizes, in thoroughly readable prose, a tremendous amount of recent historical literature on Western family life from the Middle Ages to the present. This is no mean feat, and the fact that it undermines many loudly proclaimed political pieties is a delicious bonus.—Warren Goldstein, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Weddings, birthdays, funerals, reunions, Mother’s Day, even Christmas—we think of these ritual events as timeless traditions, our links to the distant past and the future. As such, they become invested with a syrupy sentimentalism, both sweet and sticky—part of the current nostalgia for family values. John Gillis’s twin gifts as a historian and a writer are to reveal just how modern and how politically constructed these rituals are and to tell their story with the narrative grace and flair of a born storyteller. A book both learned and entertaining.—Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America: A Cultural History

A tour de force of accessible scholarship, written with vigor and grace, filled with fascinating details and fresh insights… No one who cares about the past, present, or future of family life can afford to ignore this book.—Jackson Lears, author of Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America

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