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Jan 14, 2003
| ISBN 9780812966763
Apr 09, 2002
| ISBN 9781588362285
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Jan 14, 2003 | ISBN 9780812966763
Apr 09, 2002 | ISBN 9781588362285
A pioneering look at first marriages lasting five years or less and ending without children, Paul’s book “will be a lesson to those contemplating marriage and a comfort to those who falter” (The Economist).What is it about marriage that makes today’s twenty- and thirtysomethings want it so badly? And why do so many of their marriages, despite high hopes and desires, end in divorce? Nobody goes into a starter marriage expecting to divorce and trade up to something better, but like a starter home, a starter marriage can teach you a lot about what to look for, and what to avoid, the next time around.Drawing on extensive research and interviews with starter-marriage vets, Pamela Paul explores why young people are jumping in and out of marriage, and what lessons can be drawn from their failures. She shows how starter marriages can be avoided, and why lifelong marriage is still a desirable, achievable option for the next marrying generation.
The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony is a pioneering study of first marriages lasting five years or less and ending without children, and of the changing face of matrimony in America. According to the brilliant trend analyst and journalist Pamela Paul, “It’s easy to conclude that the starter marriage trend bodes ill for the state of marriage. After all, we’re getting married, screwing it up, and divorcing—a practice that certainly isn’t strengthening our sense of trust, family, or commitment. But though starter marriages seem like a grim prospect, there is also an upside. For one thing, if people are going to divorce, better to do so after a brief marriage in which no children suffer the consequences.” But are there other consequences of starter marriages? And what causes these marriages to fail in the first place?In today’s matrimania culture, weddings, marriage, and family are clearly goals to which most young Americans aspire. Why are today’s twenty- and thirtysomethings—the first children-of-divorce generation—so eager to get married, and so prone to failure? Are Americans today destined to jump in and out of marriage? At a time when marriage at age twenty-five can mean a sixty-year active commitment, could “serial marriages” be the wave of the future? Drawing on more than sixty interviews with starter marriage veterans and on exhaustive re-search, Pamela Paul explores these questions, putting the issues into social and cultural perspective. She looks at the hopes and motivations of couples marrying today, and examines the conflict between our cultural conception of marriage and the society surrounding it. Most important, this lively and engaging narrative examines what the starter marriage trend means for the future of matrimony in this country—how and why we’ll continue to marry in the twenty-first century.
Pamela Paul (pamelapaul.com) is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and oversees books coverage at The New York Times. She is also the host of the weekly Book Review podcast. She is the author of six books, including The Starter Marriage and the… More about Pamela Paul
“[Paul’s] observations evoke a winning combination of laugh, wince and nod.”—The New York Times Book Review “Paul serves up a number of fresh and valuable aperçus not just about the nature of marriage today but about the way young men and women have come to see and understand themselves in our highly competitive, status-driven, ‘post-feminist’ world. She compellingly articulates the dreams and visions of a generation.” —The Washington Post“Pamela Paul’s smart, sensitive, and informative investigation of drive-through marriages ripples with unsettling insights into contemporary society. . . . An important book for Gen Xers and Boomers alike.” —Nancy F. Cott, Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University, and author of Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation
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