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Rules of Engagement

Four Couples and American Marriage Today

Lis Harris

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


In this provocative book, the acclaimed author of Holy Days, Lis Harris, offers a fascinating look at the institution of marriage: how it is changing, what it may yet become.

Rules of Engagement follows the trials and triumphs of four very real couples: upper-class Sarah and Eaton, whose 1950s marriage has been transformed in the wake of feminism; working-class Mike and Claire, who have struggled through multiple separations and reconciliations in their common-law marriage; middle-class African-Americans Carlita and Samuel, striving to succeed with their two young children in an often hostile world; and middle-aged Neal and Vera, idealists whose relationship has survived an experiment with "open marriage."

From these four couples, Harris draws invaluable lessons about relationships in general and about the unique nature of American marriage, an institution that continues to thrive in an ever-changing world because of our willingness to experiment with and reinvent it.

Publishers Weekly Review

29 March 1999 – Harris (Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family), a staff writer at the New Yorker, presents four couples as representing varieties of American marriage in the late 20th century, though four couples can hardly stand for all marriages. Over several years, she consorted with an upper-class couple in New York City, a middle-class African American couple, a blue-collar couple and a couple best described as determinedly bohemian. Being privy to these vastly differing marriages allowed Harris to draw interesting, even entertaining conclusions. For instance, all four couples agreed that none of them was prepared for the reality of marital life (who is?). In a pleasing anecdotal style, especially with the story of the upper-class pair, the author conveys her respect for the eight people who allowed her into their lives, as well as her appreciation for marriage as an institution that, however challenged, is still viable.
Rules of Engagement
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  • 14,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Family & Relationships
  • Published: 03 July 2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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