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Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America
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Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America (Hardback)

£37.50
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Synopsis

In the early twentieth-century United States, to speak of 'mother love' was to invoke an idea of motherhood that served as an all-encompassing identity, rooted in notions of self-sacrifice and infused with powerful social and political meanings. Sixty years later, mainstream views of motherhood had been transformed, and Mother found herself to blame for a wide array of social and psychological ills. Here, Rebecca Jo Plant traces this huge turn through several key moments in American history and popular culture. Exploring such topics as maternal caregiving, childbirth, and women's political roles, "Mom" vividly brings to life the varied groups that challenged older ideals of motherhood, including male critics who railed against female moral authority, psychological experts who hoped to expand their influence, and women who wished to be defined as more than wives and mothers. In her careful analysis of how motherhood came to be viewed as a more private and partial component of modern female identity, Plant ultimately engages the question of what it means to be a woman in American civic and social life.

Rebecca Jo Plant is associate professor of history at the University of California, San Diego.

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