From the bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed, an explanation of recent sexual culture and the loosening of marriage bonds in recent history.
"Finally someone is offering a new, utterly plausible explanation...of loosening marriage bonds. According to Barbara Ehrenreich...it is men who started walking off, in search of freedom from their stifling role of breadwinner/success-machine. The shock—and exhilaration—of this book comes from the recognition that here is a woman who has dared to look beyond the everyday assumptions about love and commitment to examine which bonds between men and women can endure and which may last forever.”--Vogue
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Though dated and not so groundbreaking as Ehrenreich's seminal immersion journalism work Nickel and Dimed, The Hearts of Men is an engaging read on an important subject that remains largely ignored. For a more complex, comprehensive, and thoroughly compelling text I enthusiastically recommend Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man by Pulitzer Prize winning feminist writer Susan Faludi.
Among Ehrenreich's earlier books, this is a fascinating sociological study of 20th century masculinity that puts many more contemporary studies to shame in its comprehensiveness.
Ehrenreich is known as a great truth-teller. Many people are familiar with "Nickel and Dimed" for example, and many (women especially) remember "For Her Own Good." After having been impressed by her recent personal memoir "Living with a Wild God," I was inspired to delve into her earlier work and read "The Hearts of Men." (Although our public library is very well supplied, I had to request this one through interlibrary loan. Then, after I read it, I had to buy my own copy so that I could have it to share with friends.) Although this brilliant retrospective on changing social mores affecting sex, love, marriage and family covers mainly the years between 1950 and 1980, now more than thirty years after its publication this little book will cause grown-up readers of all ages to feel: "OK, now I get it." The author has connected the dots, so to speak, in a way that really makes sense and clearly illustrates the origins of present confusions, stresses and strains.
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