cover image of The Way We Never Were

The Way We Never Were

American Families and the Nostalgia Trap

by Stephanie Coontz


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The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.

Publication Details

Basic Books
Revised and Updated
Publication Date:


Stephanie Coontz (Author)

Stephanie Coontz is a member of the faculty of Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, where she is a historian and an expert on American culture.

More about Stephanie Coontz
The Way We Never Were
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