Raising America by Ann Hulbert
Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children

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Since the beginning of the twentieth century, millions of anxious parents have turned to child-rearing manuals for reassurance. Instead, however, they have often found yet more cause for worry. In this rich social history, Ann Hulbert analyzes one hundred years of shifting trends in advice and discovers an ongoing battle between two main approaches: a “child-centered” focus on warmly encouraging development versus a sterner “parent-centered” emphasis on instilling discipline. She examines how pediatrics, psychology, and neuroscience have fueled the debates but failed to offer definitive answers. And she delves into the highly relevant and often turbulent personal lives of the popular advice-givers, from L. Emmett Holt and Arnold Gesell to Bruno Bettelheim and Benjamin Spock to the prominent (and ever conflicting) experts of today.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Ann Hulbert

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Ann Hulbert is the author of The Interior Castle: The Art and Life of Jean Stafford." Her articles and reviews have appeared in many places, including the "New York Times Book Review, the "New York Review of Books, and "The New Republic, where she worked for many years as a senior editor. She graduated from Harvard and spent a year at Cambridge University. She lives with her husband and two children in Washington, D.C.
Published January 26, 2011 by Vintage. 464 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Children's Books, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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where Spock and his followers blended a kind of dilute Freudianism with dashes of world anthropology and democratic ideology, an authority of the turn of the 20th century named Anna Rogers urged that there was quite too much concern for emotional well-being among her peers, railing, “If only a mo...

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With a flair for wordplay (paraphrasing Gesell's advice to parents to "walk—and speak—ever so softly, and carry a big chart") and a taste for irony (almost all the experts suffered from "mother's boy syndrome"), Hulbert documents the upbringings of the experts themselves, the fluctuations in thei...

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Book Reporter

From the strict behaviorist Watson, who famously conditioned a young child to fear not only rats but all other cute furry animals, to Gesell, whose timetables of child development were the precursors of the milestones that today's parents obsess over, to Spock, whose parenting advice defined the ...

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Raising America: Experts, Par...

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