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We grew up together : brothers and sisters in nineteenth-century America /
Annette Atkins.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2001.
xviii, 194 p. ; 24 cm.
0252026055 (acid-free paper)
More Details
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2001.
0252026055 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 175-185) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-07-01:
Based primarily on the letters that brothers and sisters wrote to each other from 1840 to 1920, this is a pioneering study of emotional relationships among adult siblings. Their stories are told in ten fascinating chapters, each containing a different 19th-century, white, middle-class, Anglo-Saxon family history, thoughtfully chosen to illustrate the complexity of family dynamics and adult sibling relationships after they have left home. Atkins also focuses on what these sibling relationships reveal about gender roles and compares the 19th-century families she examines with contemporary ideas about the "traditional family." The book's conclusions are short, restricted to a page and half. Among her findings, Atkins concludes that siblings played a significant role in each other's lives while growing up and afterward. Between 1840-1920, despite major external changes in American life such as industrialization, urbanization, and immigration, families' internal lives did not change much. Atkins also debunks the idea that there was a "golden past" for families. Instead, she finds that families in the past were quite similar to families today. This book casts new light on sibling bonds and should be read by anyone interested in family history. All libraries. E. W. Carp Pacific Lutheran University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2001
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