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A Potent Spell: Mother Love and the Power of Fear

A Potent Spell: Mother Love and the Power of Fear Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Every parent has felt that certain dread: your toddler gets lost in the mall; your teenager isn"t home by curfew; your third-grader walks to school alone. The psychotherapist Janna Malamud Smith rigorously argues that fear of child loss has the keenest effect on mothers and has proven to be a powerfuly underrated motivation for them throughout history. Bearing the brunt of responsibility for keeping children safe and healthy, mothers constantly accommodate to the need to be vigilant. Their fears make them vulnerable in many ways, affecting their daily lives in the workplace, at home, and within the social hierarchy.

Smith takes the long view of this phenomenon, uncovering a buried message to mothers in advice books from the days of the Puritans to the present, in medicine and psychology, in art and literature. It is a history brimming with mothers" stories from ancient times to today. Like Arlie Hochschild"s The Second Shift and Ann Crittenden"s The Price of Motherhood, A Potent Spell confirms women"s real experience of motherhood in America.Every parent has felt that certain dread: your toddler gets lost in the mall; your teenager isn"t home by curfew; your third-grader walks to school alone. The psychotherapist Janna Malamud Smith rigorously argues that fear of child loss has the keenest effect on mothers and has proven to be a powerfuly underrated motivation for them throughout history. Bearing the brunt of responsibility for keeping children safe and healthy, mothers constantly accommodate to the need to be vigilant. Their fears make them vulnerable in many ways, affecting their daily lives in the workplace, at home, and within the social hierarchy.

Smith takes the long view of this phenomenon, uncovering a buried message to mothers in advice books from the days of the Puritans to the present, in medicine and psychology, in art and literature. It is a history brimming with mothers" stories from ancient times to today. Like Arlie Hochschild"s The Second Shift and Ann Crittenden"s The Price of Motherhood, A Potent Spell confirms women"s real experience of motherhood in America.

Synopsis:

An intriguing exploration of the psychology of mothering, A Potent Spell demonstrates how a mother's deep, abiding drive to protect and care for a child has created a profound, and often exploited, vulnerability in women. With historical evidence, interviews, and personal experience, the psychotherapist Janna Malamud Smith brings a rich sensibility and rare intelligence to this subject.

No mother will be a stranger to the guilt, fear, and worry surrounding the effort to keep her child safe. Smith centers her book on these rip-tide emotions and their manipulation by American society and media. Groundbreaking and thoroughly illuminating, A Potent Spell "should cast a beacon upon a history of prejudice and bad science" (San Francisco Chronicle).

About the Author

Janna Malamud Smith is a clinical psychotherapist and social worker. She has contributed to the New York Times, Family Circle, and the Boston Globe. The daughter of the writer Bernard Malamud, Smith has two children.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618446735
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
Boston
Author:
Malamud Smith, Janna
Author:
Smith, Janna Malamud
Subject:
Motherhood
Subject:
Parenting - General
Subject:
Parenting - Motherhood
Subject:
Child Care and Parenting-Mothering
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
June 2004
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
289
Dimensions:
8.78x5.76x.82 in. .89 lbs.

Related Subjects

A Potent Spell: Mother Love and the Power of Fear
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Product details 289 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618446735 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
An intriguing exploration of the psychology of mothering, A Potent Spell demonstrates how a mother's deep, abiding drive to protect and care for a child has created a profound, and often exploited, vulnerability in women. With historical evidence, interviews, and personal experience, the psychotherapist Janna Malamud Smith brings a rich sensibility and rare intelligence to this subject.

No mother will be a stranger to the guilt, fear, and worry surrounding the effort to keep her child safe. Smith centers her book on these rip-tide emotions and their manipulation by American society and media. Groundbreaking and thoroughly illuminating, A Potent Spell "should cast a beacon upon a history of prejudice and bad science" (San Francisco Chronicle).

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