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1 Beaverton Sociology- General

I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage

by

I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A provocative survey of marriage and what it has meant for society, politics, religion, and the home.

For ten thousand 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 thirteen 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 housewives' manuals (sometimes all at the same time) to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic view of the many things marriage has been and meant. The result is a book to provoke and fascinate readers of all ideological stripes: feminists, traditionalists, conservatives, and progressives alike.

Review:

"In breezy, irreverent prose, Squire (The Slender Balance) catalogues the history and religious significance of the institution of marriage from Adam and Eve to the Renaissance and beyond. Writing as if gossiping with a girlfriend, Squire argues that marriage was developed to establish paternity by controlling the sex life of women. We learn that the men of Athens had hetaera (courtesans) to entertain them, concubines for their daily 'need' and wives with whom to breed legitimate children; the women of Rome, on the other hand, learned how to use their power to threaten male rule of society. The New Testament offers equality to husband and wife, at least in the marriage bed; the association of lust with Eve's original sin can be attributed to Augustine. Squire explores sixth-century penitentials on sexual sins, adultery in the Middle Ages and the intersection of wife and witch during the Renaissance inquisitions. Readers are left questioning whether our modern idea of love matches might end up as a chapter in a future book about the incarnations of marriage. 'Love may not be the answer, but for now, it is the story.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Squire archly reconsiders the disobedient Biblical helpmeet Eve...as well as witches, bitches, nymphomaniacs, concubines, clerics, cuckolds, and others....Take this potent, hugely entertaining book to bed." O Magazine

Review:

"Lively and a pleasure to read..." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The subtitle describes the book as 'contrarian,' but that is almost too mild a term to describe Squire's sarcastic yet breezy style, which while very amusing, is sure to offend many readers as she gleefully surveys Western history....[R]ecommended." Library Journal

Review:

"A sardonic and delightful romp through the history of conjugality, from day zero on. An illuminating book for those who want to know their history, rather than just repeat it: anyone in a marriage or just contemplating the possibility will want to take notes." Laura Kipnis

Synopsis:

In this provocative and ambitious book, Squire unravels the turbulent history and many implications of the institution of marriage. The author 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.

Synopsis:

A provocative survey of marriage and what it has meant for society, politics, religion, and the home.

For ten thousand 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 thirteen years of intense research, but even more than the intellectual scope, what sets it apart is Squires voice and contrarian boldness. Learned, acerbic, opinionated, and funny, she draws on everything from Sumerian mythology to Renaissance theater to Victorian housewives manuals (sometimes all at the same time) to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic view of the many things marriage has been and meant. The result is a book to provoke and fascinate readers of all ideological stripes: feminists, traditionalists, conservatives, and progressives alike.

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 lives in New York City with her husband of nineteen years.

For ten thousand 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 thirteen years of intense research, but even more than the intellectual scope, what sets it apart is Squires voice and contrarian boldness. Learned, acerbic, opinionated, and funny, she draws on everything from Sumerian mythology to Renaissance theater to Victorian housewives manuals (sometimes all at the same time) to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic view of the many things marriage has been and meant. The result is a book to provoke and fascinate readers of all ideological stripes: feminists, traditionalists, conservatives, and progressives alike.

“Squire archly reconsiders the disobedient Biblical helpmeet Eve (‘Shouldnt the buck stop with the senior officer, not the assistant?), as well as witches, bitches, nymphomaniacs, concubines, clerics, cuckolds, and others . . . [P]otent [and] hugely entertaining.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Written with an incisive wit and an unshowy audaciousness, I Dont is an absolutely compelling read—a must for anyone, man or woman, who has wondered about the war between the sexes and the truce that is marriage. Steeped as her book is in historical detail, Susan Squire proves herself to be that rare breed: a scholar with a light touch, writing with a deftness and fluency that lifts her comprehensive knowledge and closely informed readings to the level of literature. This is a book that informs while it entertains the reader—a truly original take on its subject.”—Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment and Dreaming of Hitler

“A sardonic and delightful romp through the history of conjugality, from day zero on. An illuminating book for those who want to know their history, rather than just repeat it: anyone in a marriage or just contemplating the possibility will want to take notes. Also perfect for couples therapists waiting rooms, throwing at your spouse, and Valentine's Day.”—Laura Kipnis

“Squire begins with Genesis and works through biblical and secular history through Martin Luther, deconstructing marriage with a vengeance . . . Squire does not pretend to be unbiased in her negative view of historical marriage, especially in terms of Christian history. The subtitle describes the book as ‘contrarian, but that is almost too mild a term to describe Squire's sarcastic yet breezy style, which while very amusing, is sure to offend many readers as she gleefully surveys Western history. Squire is mainly concerned with the subjugation of women within the strictures of marriage as a social and religious convention . . . [R]ecommended for sociology and women's history collections.”—Elizabeth Morris, Library Journal

“In breezy, irreverent prose, Squire catalogues the history and religious significance of the institution of marriage from Adam and Eve to the Renaissance and beyond. Writing as if gossiping with a girlfriend, Squire argues that marriage was developed to establish paternity by controlling the sex life of women. We learn that the men of Athens had hetaera(courtesans) to entertain them, concubines for their daily ‘need and wives with whom to breed legitimate children; the women of Rome, on the other hand, learned how to use their power to threaten male rule of society. The New Testament offers equality to husband and wife, at least in the marriage bed; the association of lust with Eve's original sin can be attributed to Augustine. Squire explores sixth-century penitentials on sexual sins, adultery in the Middle Ages and the intersection of wife and witch during the Renaissance inquisitions. Readers are left questioning whether our modern idea of love matches might end up as a chapter in a future book about the incarnations of marriage. ‘Love may not be the answer, but for now, it is the story.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

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 lives in New York City with her husband of nineteen years.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582341194
Subtitle:
A Contrarian History of Marriage
Author:
Squire, Susan
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General History
Subject:
General
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Marriage
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080722
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Bloomsbury USA - English 9781582341194 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In breezy, irreverent prose, Squire (The Slender Balance) catalogues the history and religious significance of the institution of marriage from Adam and Eve to the Renaissance and beyond. Writing as if gossiping with a girlfriend, Squire argues that marriage was developed to establish paternity by controlling the sex life of women. We learn that the men of Athens had hetaera (courtesans) to entertain them, concubines for their daily 'need' and wives with whom to breed legitimate children; the women of Rome, on the other hand, learned how to use their power to threaten male rule of society. The New Testament offers equality to husband and wife, at least in the marriage bed; the association of lust with Eve's original sin can be attributed to Augustine. Squire explores sixth-century penitentials on sexual sins, adultery in the Middle Ages and the intersection of wife and witch during the Renaissance inquisitions. Readers are left questioning whether our modern idea of love matches might end up as a chapter in a future book about the incarnations of marriage. 'Love may not be the answer, but for now, it is the story.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Squire archly reconsiders the disobedient Biblical helpmeet Eve...as well as witches, bitches, nymphomaniacs, concubines, clerics, cuckolds, and others....Take this potent, hugely entertaining book to bed."
"Review" by , "Lively and a pleasure to read..."
"Review" by , "The subtitle describes the book as 'contrarian,' but that is almost too mild a term to describe Squire's sarcastic yet breezy style, which while very amusing, is sure to offend many readers as she gleefully surveys Western history....[R]ecommended."
"Review" by , "A sardonic and delightful romp through the history of conjugality, from day zero on. An illuminating book for those who want to know their history, rather than just repeat it: anyone in a marriage or just contemplating the possibility will want to take notes."
"Synopsis" by , In this provocative and ambitious book, Squire unravels the turbulent history and many implications of the institution of marriage. The author 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.
"Synopsis" by ,
A provocative survey of marriage and what it has meant for society, politics, religion, and the home.

For ten thousand 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 thirteen years of intense research, but even more than the intellectual scope, what sets it apart is Squires voice and contrarian boldness. Learned, acerbic, opinionated, and funny, she draws on everything from Sumerian mythology to Renaissance theater to Victorian housewives manuals (sometimes all at the same time) to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic view of the many things marriage has been and meant. The result is a book to provoke and fascinate readers of all ideological stripes: feminists, traditionalists, conservatives, and progressives alike.

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 lives in New York City with her husband of nineteen years.

For ten thousand 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 thirteen years of intense research, but even more than the intellectual scope, what sets it apart is Squires voice and contrarian boldness. Learned, acerbic, opinionated, and funny, she draws on everything from Sumerian mythology to Renaissance theater to Victorian housewives manuals (sometimes all at the same time) to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic view of the many things marriage has been and meant. The result is a book to provoke and fascinate readers of all ideological stripes: feminists, traditionalists, conservatives, and progressives alike.

“Squire archly reconsiders the disobedient Biblical helpmeet Eve (‘Shouldnt the buck stop with the senior officer, not the assistant?), as well as witches, bitches, nymphomaniacs, concubines, clerics, cuckolds, and others . . . [P]otent [and] hugely entertaining.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Written with an incisive wit and an unshowy audaciousness, I Dont is an absolutely compelling read—a must for anyone, man or woman, who has wondered about the war between the sexes and the truce that is marriage. Steeped as her book is in historical detail, Susan Squire proves herself to be that rare breed: a scholar with a light touch, writing with a deftness and fluency that lifts her comprehensive knowledge and closely informed readings to the level of literature. This is a book that informs while it entertains the reader—a truly original take on its subject.”—Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment and Dreaming of Hitler

“A sardonic and delightful romp through the history of conjugality, from day zero on. An illuminating book for those who want to know their history, rather than just repeat it: anyone in a marriage or just contemplating the possibility will want to take notes. Also perfect for couples therapists waiting rooms, throwing at your spouse, and Valentine's Day.”—Laura Kipnis

“Squire begins with Genesis and works through biblical and secular history through Martin Luther, deconstructing marriage with a vengeance . . . Squire does not pretend to be unbiased in her negative view of historical marriage, especially in terms of Christian history. The subtitle describes the book as ‘contrarian, but that is almost too mild a term to describe Squire's sarcastic yet breezy style, which while very amusing, is sure to offend many readers as she gleefully surveys Western history. Squire is mainly concerned with the subjugation of women within the strictures of marriage as a social and religious convention . . . [R]ecommended for sociology and women's history collections.”—Elizabeth Morris, Library Journal

“In breezy, irreverent prose, Squire catalogues the history and religious significance of the institution of marriage from Adam and Eve to the Renaissance and beyond. Writing as if gossiping with a girlfriend, Squire argues that marriage was developed to establish paternity by controlling the sex life of women. We learn that the men of Athens had hetaera(courtesans) to entertain them, concubines for their daily ‘need and wives with whom to breed legitimate children; the women of Rome, on the other hand, learned how to use their power to threaten male rule of society. The New Testament offers equality to husband and wife, at least in the marriage bed; the association of lust with Eve's original sin can be attributed to Augustine. Squire explores sixth-century penitentials on sexual sins, adultery in the Middle Ages and the intersection of wife and witch during the Renaissance inquisitions. Readers are left questioning whether our modern idea of love matches might end up as a chapter in a future book about the incarnations of marriage. ‘Love may not be the answer, but for now, it is the story.”—Publishers Weekly

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