The Family An Ethnographical and Historical Outline with Descriptive Notes, Planned as a Text-book for the Use o College Lecturers and of Directors of Home-reading Clubs

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Author: Parsons, Elsie Clews (1874-1941)

Year: 1906

Publisher: G P Putnam's Sons

Place: New York


xxv+389 with appendix and index. Octavo (8 3/4" x 6 1/4") bound in publisher's original blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine. First edition.

Elsie Clews Parsons was born into the higher reaches of New York society in 1874. She was an oppositional, if brilliant, child. At 22, forced to accompany her mother to Paris for the summer, she spent the months in the library translating Gabriel Tarde's ''Laws of Imitation,'' a study of the psychological processes of change. She insisted not only on attending Barnard College but on taking a doctorate (in education) at Columbia in 1899. ''Bear in mind,'' her aggrieved mother wrote to her, ''that you have been allowed to direct your own life as against what we thought best -- and we cannot see what it will lead to.'' When she was 32 (and married to a Congressman) she published a book, ''The Family'' (1906), which argued for candid sexual education, trial marriage and premarital sexual exploration. ''Radical,'' The New York Herald exclaimed, and it and the rest of the popular press proceeded to deplore ''the morality of the barnyard.'' She landed eventually in anthropology, a natural home for intellectual social rebels, and became one of its founding mothers.


Front inner hinge cracked, corners and spine heal gently bumped else a very good copy.

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