9780393316971 / 0393316971

Women and the Common Life: Love, Marriage, and Feminism


Publisher:W. W. Norton & Company



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About the book:

Christopher Lasch was a cultural critic who sought to redirect America's public philosophy through tough-minded essays of cultural and moral criticism. For several decades, Lasch wrote some of the most compelling and erudite essays in American letters, eschewing the wastrel and faddish trends that afflict much contemporary criticism. The end of his work was nothing less than the reshaping of our own self-understanding. Lasch attempted to make clear to his thinking readers that there is greater purpose in human life than "making it" either in business or the bedroom, combating the powerful drives of greed, lust, and pride in what he saw as our consumerist culture. In Women and the Common Life, Lasch directs his attention toward issues of marriage, feminism, and the men's movement in nine succinct essays that focus on the latent ideals of love and commitment. Too smart to lapse into false nostalgia for set gender roles or "traditional"family structures, Lasch rejects both the Right's unthinking conservatism as well as the Left's loose talk of "oppression" and "liberation." Instead, Lasch challenges gender theorists to consider their complicity in making market success a dominant social and political goal and to reappraise the cultural accomplishment of companionate marriage, which Lasch describes as a "union of desire and esteem." The foreword by Lasch's daughter--the editor of this volume--supplies a moving account of Lasch's last days and his influence on her own work.

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