THE SUBVERSIVE FAMILY by Ferdinand Mount

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Synopsis

British politician and writer, Ferdinand Mount, challenges contemporary beliefs about society and family—including the history of divorce, childcare, and the concept of the nuclear family.

In Subversive Family, politician and writer Ferdinand Mount argues that society is shaped by a series of powerful revolutionary movements, the leaders of which, whether they be political ideologues, theologians, feudal lords, or feminist writers, have done their utmost to render the family a subordinate instrument of their purpose but that, in spite of it all, the family endures. Mount maintains that many widely held contemporary beliefs about the family are based on a willful misreading of the evidence: among the myths are that arranged marriages were the norm until this century; that child care is a modern innovation; that in earlier societies children were treated as expendable objects; that the nuclear family is not a 20th-century invention; and that romantic love never existed before the troubador poets glorified adultery. Divorce, he contends, is no great novelty either, he shows that in many times and places it has been almost as easy to obtain as it is today. Far from diminishing the general desire and respect for family life, Mount contends that the provision for divorce has been popularly regarded as an integral part of any sensible system of family law. This study should jolt the reader into a re-assessment of one of the most familiar and ancient institutions, and encourage greater consideration for policies today that support the family.
 

About Ferdinand Mount

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Ferdinand Mount was born in 1939. For many years he was a columnist at the Spectator and then the Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. In between, he was head of the Downing Street Policy Unit and then editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He is now a prize-winning novelist and author of, most recently, the bestselling memoir Cold Cream. He lives in London.
 
Published May 20, 2010 by Free Press. 296 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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From TLS editor Mount (The Selkirk Strip, 1988, etc.): a controversial history of love and marriage in Europe that reveals how threatening private relationships have been to both church and state--and how those institutions have unsuccessfully attempted to suppress private relationships by perpet...

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Publishers Weekly

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Iconoclastic, revelatory, this study attempts to right the perceived historical record about why people married through the ages. Mount, editor of the Times Literary Supplement in London, accuses Chri

Nov 02 1992 | Read Full Review of THE SUBVERSIVE FAMILY

Publishers Weekly

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Iconoclastic, revelatory, this study attempts to right the perceived historical record about why people married through the ages.

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Los Angeles Times

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Ferdinand Mount endeavors in this volume to suggest that of all the social systems known to man--public and private--the nuclear family has always been paramount.

Dec 28 1992 | Read Full Review of THE SUBVERSIVE FAMILY

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