Friday, October 10, 2008

Pg. 99: S. Squire's "I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: I Don’t: A Contrarian History of Marriage by Susan Squire.

About the book, from the publisher:
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 more 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.
Read an excerpt from I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage, and learn more about the author and her work at Susan Squire's website.

Susan Squire is the author of three books. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, New York, and The Washington Post, and in the best-selling essay collection, The Bitch in the House.

The Page 99 Test: I Don’t: A Contrarian History of Marriage.

--Marshal Zeringue