Susan Squire
I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage
August 04, 2019 Comments.. 916
I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage Susan Squire A provocative survey of marriage and what it has meant for society, politics, religion, and the home.For ten thousand years, marriage and the idea of marriage has been at the very foundation of human society In this provocative and ambitious book, Susan Squire unravels the turbulent history and many implications of our most basic institution Starting with the discovery,A provocative survey of marriage and what it has meant for society, politics, religion, and the home.For ten thousand years, marriage and the idea of marriage has been at the very foundation of human society In this provocative and ambitious book, Susan Squire unravels the turbulent history and many implications of our most basic institution Starting with the discovery, long before recorded time, that sex leads to paternity and hence to couplehood , and leading up to the dawn of the modern love marriage, Squire delves into the many ways men and women have come together and what the state of their unions has meant for history, society, and politics especially the politics of the home.This book is the product of thirteen years of intense research, but even than the intellectual scope, what sets it apart is Squire s voice and contrarian boldness Learned, acerbic, opinionated, and funny, she draws on everything from Sumerian mythology to Renaissance theater to Victorian housewives manuals sometimes all at the same time to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic view of the many things marriage has been and meant The result is a book to provoke and fascinate readers of all ideological stripes feminists, traditionalists, conservatives, and progressives alike.. I Don t A Contrarian History of Marriage A provocative survey of marriage and what it has meant for society politics religion and the home For ten thousand years marriage and the idea of marriage has been at the very foundation of human
  • Title: I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage
  • Author: Susan Squire
  • ISBN: 9781582341194
  • Page: 500
  • Format: Hardcover
  • I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage Susan Squire

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    1 Blog on “I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage

    1. lindsay! says:

      Ok Listen up.I was so excited to read this book Seriously This is evidenced by 1 Every time I went to a bookstore, I sought it out, gently caressed it, and lamented the the fact that it cost 26 plus tax This behavior has many witnesses 2 I waited on the hold list at the library for this book for eight months EIGHT months 3 I have managed to find the time to read no book outside of my impenetrable pile of school readings since August except for The God of Small Things, over and over, but we all k [...]

    2. Jessi says:

      Fortunately, Susan Squire is funny as hell Otherwise, this book would be too depressing to read Marriage it hasn t been so nice to the ladies, as it turns out I recommend this book, even if you re afraid it will turn you off from the m word And it likely will Until you remember you don t live in ancient Greece or are Christian Oops, sorry Are you Christian

    3. Kristina says:

      I very much enjoyed Susan Squire s I Don t A Contrarian History of Marriage It is a factually based exploration of the historical notion of marriage without ever being dull or dry or tedious This is due to Squire s way of presenting this history of marriage with a skeptical, can you fucking believe this nonsense way of writing The publisher s summary describes Squire as learned, acerbic, opinionated and funny and she is all of that This is a fascinating exploration of marriage.If there is one th [...]

    4. Stephanie says:

      I wanted so much from this book It could ve included some commentary or insight It could ve included history past the time of the Reformation rather than just summing up everything since that time in a page or two It could ve discussed marriage in other parts of the world besides the West It could ve explored other points of view on marriage besides extremely religious men s The book is just a summary of a handful of texts written by men in ancient times who had a very extreme and mostly uncha [...]

    5. Laura says:

      Fun book Not terribly deep Does a survey of marriage in the western world from the Bible through Greece and Rome through Europe to Martin Luther Does a nice job of poking fun at the notion that there is a traditional marriage that we re falling away from Instead, marriage serves changing social purposes and responds to changing social conditions I feel weird about her suggestion that the first women s rights protest might have been about a woman s right to wear purple and gold jewelry in Rome af [...]

    6. Logophile (Heather) says:

      This book is a chronological look at marriage through the ages, and damn, but THAT is a depressing venture, though this hopscotches through the millenniums with a comparatively light tone.This is also a pretty well researched book however, it does have some flaws in that department As the Torah and Christian Bible are a good look at two historical perspectives of marriage Squire consults them both and uses them to illustrate her point People have always interpreted the Bible in ways that support [...]

    7. Teresa says:

      This is not just a history of marriage, but also a history of sex and the relationship between the sexes in the West since the beginning of civilization It s an essential read for anyone who s wondered what marriage really means or why it began Squire starts with some acute Biblical analysis, describes ancient Athens, Rome, medieval Europe, and ends with the influence of Martin Luther The running theme through all this ancient literature is of the good man turned wrong by the conniving temptress [...]

    8. John says:

      Trite, anecdotal, and biased are a few words I would use to describe Squire s book It s an awesome read if you have never had a history or theology class Also, you would need no to lack the most common of senses to not have realized most of what she surmises The stories and anecdotes used are cherry picked and biased as hell to fit the authors overall narrative Allow me to save you a few hours and paraphrase Men bad and oppressive, Church and religion of any kind bad and oppressive The end I get [...]

    9. Justin says:

      Squire recapitulates the boilerplate feminist critique of the patriarchal nature history of the institution of marriage And though she limits herself to the history of such within the context of Western Civilization Asian, African, and Meso American traditions come in for short shrift here , her points are well taken So well taken, in fact, that her critique has by now, in the 21st century, become the conventional wisdom among most enlightened, educated people One wonders what exactly she though [...]

    10. Connie says:

      This is a story about the idea of marriage in the West why it came about, what it was supposed to accomplish, who was behind it, and how was it implanted into the minds of the many where it remains, whether the many are conscious of it or not This quote, from the opening A Note to the Reader, sums up the contents of the book This book is about the history of marriage in the West starting from primal nomadic cultures to the Reformation It is about how marriage comes to be and how it has changed w [...]

    11. Mikey B. says:

      This book is much about the repression of sexual passion than about marriage per se If you are expecting a diatribe against marriage this is not the book This book is entertaining and funny Its basic premise, and the author backs up her statements citing the Old and New Testaments, is that religion Christianity in particular inhibits sexual joy, passion, eroticism Even though it wants its converts to be fruitful and multiply , it does a wonderful doubletalk suppressing sexual ardour Until the R [...]

    12. Jen says:

      First off, I have to address it, the editing was pretty atrocious I found at least 3 really glaring and embarrassing spelling mistakes unfinished sentences however, the information contained in the book was fascinating enough to make this Not a Big Deal The author is witty and I found myself laughing out loud on lots of occasions The writing style took some time to get used to, because I m usually reading mass market type non fiction Susan Squire assumes you already know quite a bit about histor [...]

    13. Jessica says:

      The historical anecdotes that Squire discusses are all very fascinating but I finished with so many questions Not so much because she ends with Martin Luther but because she provides examples of how sexuality, gender, and marriage have been produced and intertwined without ever really going to the next level by discussing and analyzing these cultural texts beyond providing them as examples in a woven together narrative She makes an argument that marrying for love is a relatively new concept and [...]

    14. Jenn says:

      Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the definition of marriage and how our present interpretation of marriage was formed I picked up this book impulsively at the library hoping that it would answer some of my questions The good news, it did The bad news The author s sarcastic and sometimes flippant tone was a bit off putting to me at times Additionally, there were editing errors that frustrated me There was some rather crude language in parts that seemed unnecessary And finally, the autho [...]

    15. Kathleen says:

      This book is fascinating reminder that marrying for love and companionship is a ridiculously new phenomena Presenting a fairly comprehensive view of marriage in the West from the conception of human culture to modern times, this history reminds us that marriage has been defined and re defined through time, religion, and culture The idea of marriage is itself rooted in the subservience of women, and as such could use than a little updating.Or do we still promise to love, honor, and obey

    16. Nicholas Moryl says:

      Interesting if you don t know much about how marriage has been used historically as a tool to control women and property, but written in a very casual style that undermines its message Stops discussing marriage at the Reformation, and only focuses on the Western world There s a lot still to be learned about marriage in other traditions as well as after the Reformation Ultimately, unfulfilling as either a critique of marriage or an exploration of its role throughout history.

    17. Savanna says:

      I wish I could give 3.5 stars sometimes This book is charmingly and amusingly written It s very easy and pleasant to read Squire shares a lot of facts and some compelling insights on love and marriage as cultural phenomena The writing is concise and balanced, and I was very interested in the book from the beginning clear through to the end Squire sure knows how to hold your attention But despite the concise chapters, pleasing tone, and steady pace of this book, I was disappointed in three ways T [...]

    18. Chloe says:

      This book is overreaching at times Thinks of it self as witty when it is really crude Author sounds angry and flippant most of the time, therefore when she is presenting factually accurate data, it immediately turned me off.Most of the book contains concepts that aren t entirely new, at least I wasn t blown away by the content Yeah, we all know by now that originally Biblical marriage regarded women as property, what I came for is how that effects our concept of marriage today.While the history [...]

    19. Linda says:

      I Do A Contrarian History of Marriage is a feminist interpretation of the development of gender roles and sexual relationships through the history of Western civilization Squires ambitious examination begins with an analysis of the Bible creation story and the social practices of matrilineal descent and polygamy amongst the biblical Israelites She describes the pragmatic marriages of the ancient Athenians, the unique and surprisingly modern sounding practice of trial marriage in the Roman Empire [...]

    20. Andrea Ulrich says:

      I m very interested in learning about the origins of marriage in human culture, the reasons behind it and how it s shaped society This book was not what I expected at all First and foremost it is not a comprehensive history of marriage as much as it is a general overview of that history in the Western world It goes from scientific assumption on the behavior of early humans, through the ancient Israelites up until Luther s reformation I was very disappointed that non caucasian cultures were not i [...]

    21. Kate says:

      The rapture fades and the anxiety creeps in A good wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones Woman is the gateway through which the devil comes A woman is beautiful to look upon, contaminating to the touch, and deadly to keep There is no doubt that certain witches can do marvelous things with regard to male organs These witches collect male organs in great numbers, as many as twenty or thirty members together, and put them in a bird s nest, or shu [...]

    22. Ingeborg says:

      I expected a lot from this one, the conclusions are commonplace, and I didn t particularly like the author s tone it seems like she really strives to be funny, but it doesn t work every time And also, there is no need, not everything is funny, not everything needs to be funny If I wanted something amusing I would have started reading Kishon, not a book about marriage There are some interesting anecdotes about men and women, especially about how the men of the past have seen women and their plac [...]

    23. Caleb says:

      This is a jolly book about the changing ideas of what constitutes nuptial bliss over the ages It s not a book you d read to learn facts startlingly brazen factual errors dot every page I m not sure whether my favorite is the remark about how testicles are useless to celibate and chaste clergymen, or the straight faced description of someone practicing homeopathy in the sixteenth century The real reason you ought to read this book is the delicious sarcasm dripping from each sentence Squire clearl [...]

    24. Lisa says:

      The book was a bit of a let down Far from being a coherent history, it s a highly episodic account of marriage in Western culture It starts with guesswork about pre history, takes up the main narrative with the Israelites, proceeds via Athens and Rome to the Dark and Middle Ages, and then quits with Martin Luther I ll give it contrarian, but it s far from covering the history of marriage For instance, why cover only Athens and not Sparta, where marriage took a very different form I get the focus [...]

    25. G (galen) says:

      It s is kinda like the crash course stand up comedian version of A History of The Wife A lot of the same information and scholarship distilled down to the most hilariously devastating one liners on marriage and women by the great thinkers and leaders of our species Condensed into 200 pages we see century after century of men dealing with the dilemma Women Can t live with them Can t live without them Sex Women Sex with Women Sex without Women And Is that baby mine That s what it s all about It wa [...]

    26. Cheri says:

      Witty and fun, this historical look at marriage in the West reads like an essay in Maxim than an academic paper Susan Squire starts with Genesis and traces the history of marriage from Biblical beginnings up through the reformation, ending with Martin Luther Marriage here only serves as the lens through which to view misogynistic cultural attitudes towards women in the West and it s an entertaining, if maddening, romp A vivid outline of cultural progress in the West, I Don t is highly entertain [...]

    27. Caty says:

      Couldn t get through all of it, but got the gist through reading the bulk of it The sarcastic tone made for easy reading, but I wasn t entirely sure I approved aesthetically the author does duly warn us that her history is contrarian, though Anyway, incisive analysis, surprises by revealing the extent of the Christianity s antisex hysteria throughout the centuries Plus, shows you how brutally the priorities of patrilineal property values shaped marriage in the Ancient World beyond A good reply t [...]

    28. Meri says:

      The sweeping scope of the title is misleading it s really a history of womens roles in the western world, ending with Martin Luther Which is fine by me, as the product was witty and entertaining, but too much would have inspired me to burn my wedding veil and scream at my husband for being such a bastard, historically Though it pokes at the usual chauvinistic blather that none of us need hear again, like Eve s role in the fall of man, it also brings up some interesting history I hadn t heard be [...]

    29. Anna Engel says:

      I hate feminist history It s just as distorted as history written by white guys, for white guys, and about dead white guys It s not that revisionist history doesn t have its place in the field of history, but I have a hard time getting behind such one sided views.It was off putting that the first few chapters focus so much on biblical history I was hoping for a anthropological history, which would start wherever it starts Biblical beginnings are worth mentioning, but the level of detail was bor [...]

    30. Courtney Stoker says:

      I generally prefer my academic books to be academic, but the snarky tone of this tome is particularly appropriate to the subject matter This woman knows her stuff, but the book isn t as dense as it could be.Further, I appreciated the humor when delving into such a depressing history as that of marriage marriage is the result of a culmination of sexist patriarchal practices, and Squire s goal in this book is to make us realize that its tradition is anything but desirable, and those who attempt to [...]

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