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From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America Paperback – Aug 1 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service (Aug. 1 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801839351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801839351
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #899,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Whether or not we've come a long way since then, this engaging study of courtship shows that at least half the fun is in reading about getting there. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. As entertaining as it is informative. Bailey documents sources from Margaret Mead to advertising's hokey hype in her comprehensive analysis of the rituals of American amore, exploring the themes of 'control, competition, consumption, the sexual economy, etiquette and gender.'. Booklist A fascinating study of an important part of our recent past. The Nation Whether or not we've come a long way since then, this engaging study of courtship shows that at least half the fun is in reading about getting there. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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One day, the 1920s story goes, a young man asked a city girl if he might call on her. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
A must-read for those undertaking courtship! Includes both excellent background, and a fresh perspective. Beth L. Bailey writes: "In contemporary America, living together has become a conventional step in the path to marriage and an acceptable arrangement on its own terms. Sexual intercourse is a conventionally assumed part of long-term relationships (even among teenagers, for better or worse), and a clear possibility on first dates." In addition to covering some of the biblical truths of courtship, Beth L. Bailey takes you on a journey on the not-too-distant history of courtship, how it has changed--and how vastly different it is from the dating 'norm' of today. (Excellent books on this vastly under-written subject also include Elizabeth Elliott's "Quest for Love," and Joshua Harris' "I Kissed Dating Goodbye"). An entertaining & inspiring read--And an excellent gift for young adults.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a college professor and I use this book in my classes all the time. Students (male and female) love it, and they remember it. Many of them give the book to their parents to read. Bailey is an engaging writer who employs a wide variety of sources to demonstrate the path from calling to dating to going steady, and the changing meanings of those words. An historian, Bailey provides helpful social and cultural contexts. It's useful gender history. But what the book really needs is an update that would take this topic to the present. The Epilogue doesn't explain enough about dating nowadays, and thus the earlier chapters are best.
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Format: Paperback
Ms Bailey writes of 20th century courtship from the 1920's or so onwards. Discussing those elements that changed social conventions and permissible actions (such as the car) she vividly discusses the evolution of courtship, and with it sexuality throughtout the 20th century. A fun read for kicks, and a fabulous resource for historians researching the evolution in dating.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A Fascinating Story--But Please, an Updated Version! June 20 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm a college professor and I use this book in my classes all the time. Students (male and female) love it, and they remember it. Many of them give the book to their parents to read. Bailey is an engaging writer who employs a wide variety of sources to demonstrate the path from calling to dating to going steady, and the changing meanings of those words. An historian, Bailey provides helpful social and cultural contexts. It's useful gender history. But what the book really needs is an update that would take this topic to the present. The Epilogue doesn't explain enough about dating nowadays, and thus the earlier chapters are best.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting Historical Perspective April 11 2000
By Crystal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ms Bailey writes of 20th century courtship from the 1920's or so onwards. Discussing those elements that changed social conventions and permissible actions (such as the car) she vividly discusses the evolution of courtship, and with it sexuality throughtout the 20th century. A fun read for kicks, and a fabulous resource for historians researching the evolution in dating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Could have used a larger scope July 4 2010
By Amy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I appreciate that Bailey mines through a lot of popular culture in describing attitudes about courtship in this book, but I would have liked to have seen more research that delves into the larger trends she touches upon very briefly here. She argues that courtship became seen in economic terms as it went from a private ritual to a public activity-- were there other rituals that followed similar paths? Exactly how influential was Freudian theory on sexuality for the typical college co-ed?

I'm particularly interested in the history of the teenager, which this book was mildly helpful for. If you're more interested in gender relations or 20th-century American culture, you may find this work more meaningful.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
well executed on an intriguing topic Aug. 14 2006
By Russell A. Carleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bailey does a few things rather well in this book. Courtship and dating makes for an interesting study in the ways in which our culture has changed over the course of the 20th century (although as another reviewer pointed out, an update in which she discusses developments of the 90s would be most welcomed). Her writing is clear, and it's a quick and satisfying read in cultural history. This is one where the title sums up the book nicely, so if you're intrigued, it's probably a good one for you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another world Oct. 2 2013
By John H. Harvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book represents excellent, perceptive work. It puts in sharp contrast that world of courting in the 30s-60s vis a' vis the current world of social media facilitated relating, hook ups and the like.


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