Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society: Conjugal Misconduct: Defying Marriage Law in the Twentieth-Century United States (Hardback)
  • Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society: Conjugal Misconduct: Defying Marriage Law in the Twentieth-Century United States (Hardback)
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Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society: Conjugal Misconduct: Defying Marriage Law in the Twentieth-Century United States (Hardback)

(author)
£39.99
Hardback 314 Pages / Published: 01/03/2018
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Conjugal Misconduct reveals the hidden history of controversial and legally contested marital arrangements in twentieth-century America. William Kuby examines the experiences of couples in unconventional unions and the legal and cultural backlash generated by a wide array of 'alternative' marriages. These include marriages established through personal advertisements and matchmaking bureaus, marriages that defied state eugenic regulations, hasty marriages between divorced persons, provisional and temporary unions referred to as 'trial marriages', racial intermarriages, and a host of other unions that challenged sexual and marital norms. In illuminating the tensions between those who set marriage policies and those who defied them, Kuby offers a fresh account of marriage's contested history, arguing that although marital nonconformists composed only a small minority of the population, their atypical arrangements nonetheless shifted popular understandings of marriage and consistently refashioned the legal parameters of the institution.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107160262
Number of pages: 314
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'The belief that marriage as an institution is in crisis is nothing new, historian William Kuby shows us in this engaging study of early twentieth-century marital nonconformists who pushed boundaries by engaging in trial marriages, serial polygamy, or interracial marriage, among other challenges to the norm. But while 'queer' couples generated a conservative backlash, Conjugal Misconduct demonstrates that even perceived challenges to the institution of marriage could serve to reinforce its power and influence in American social life.' Renee Romano, Oberlin College, Ohio
'Conjugal Misconduct provides the definitive study of the 'amorphousness' of the institution of marriage between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nonconforming heterosexual couples pursued every angle to evade restrictive state laws, often crossing state lines to find a more lenient marital regime. Their acts of defiance reshaped marital legitimacy, while revealing that the law itself could not constrain conjugal choices. For anyone who still clings to notions of marriage's static, coherent past, this deftly written and deeply researched book proves that improvisation and even chaos shaped the legal history of heterosexual marriage.' Rebecca L. Davis, University of Delaware
'An informative and provocative account of how various groups and individuals have pushed to widen the definition and extend the benefits of marriage, often with unintended results.' Stephanie Coontz, Evergreen State College, and author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage
'The belief that marriage as an institution is in crisis is nothing new, historian William Kuby shows us in this engaging study of early twentieth-century marital nonconformists who pushed boundaries by engaging in trial marriages, serial polygamy, or interracial marriage, among other challenges to the norm. But while 'queer' couples generated a conservative backlash, Conjugal Misconduct demonstrates that even perceived challenges to the institution of marriage could serve to reinforce its power and influence in American social life.' Renee Romano, Oberlin College, Ohio
'Conjugal Misconduct provides the definitive study of the 'amorphousness' of the institution of marriage between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nonconforming heterosexual couples pursued every angle to evade restrictive state laws, often crossing state lines to find a more lenient marital regime. Their acts of defiance reshaped marital legitimacy, while revealing that the law itself could not constrain conjugal choices. For anyone who still clings to notions of marriage's static, coherent past, this deftly written and deeply researched book proves that improvisation and even chaos shaped the legal history of heterosexual marriage.' Rebecca L. Davis, University of Delaware
'An informative and provocative account of how various groups and individuals have pushed to widen the definition and extend the benefits of marriage, often with unintended results.' Stephanie Coontz, Evergreen State College, and author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage

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