Shedding New Light
Coontz has organized this book around myths and half-truths and sheds new light on parenting, love, gender roles, feminism, sexuality, privacy, and more. This book takes a critical look at how Americans long for a time that never was.
- In the nineteenth century, the age of sexual consent in some states was nine or ten.
- Teenage pregnancy peaked in the often favored 1950s. Families of the 1950s were more diverse and less idyllic than many believe.
- Pioneer marriages did not last as long as modern day marriages.
- Over the past 50 years ties between grandparents and grandchildren have become stronger.
"Leave it to Beaver" and "Ozzie and Harriet": American Families in the 1950s
"My Mother Was a Saint": Individualism, Gender Myths, and the Problem of Love
We always Stood on Our Own Two Feet: Self-reliance and the American Family
Strong Families, the Foundation of a Virtuous Society: The Family and Civic Responsibility
A Man's Home Is His Castle: The Family and Outside Intervention
Bra-Burners and Family Bashers: Feminism, Working Women, Consumerism, and the Family
"First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Mary with a Baby Carriage": Marriage, Sex, and Reproduction
Toxic Parents, Supermoms, and Absent Fathers: Putting Parenting in Perspective
Pregnant Girls, Wilding Boys, Crack Babies, and the Underclass: The Myth of Black Family Collapse
The Crisis Reconsidered
Epilogue: Inventing a New Tradition