CDN$ 37.12
  • List Price: CDN$ 40.20
  • You Save: CDN$ 3.08 (8%)
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Someday All This Will Be ... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Someday All This Will Be Yours: A History of Inheritance and Old Age Hardcover – Feb 14 2012

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 37.12
CDN$ 27.68 CDN$ 1.50

Back to University 2016
Save on College Prep Essentials on Shop now
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (Jan. 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674046889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674046887
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.8 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #594,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description


In this gem of a book, Hartog reveals the human drama of growing old and dependent, and the enduring dilemma in mixing love and economic need. (Martha Minow, Dean, Harvard Law School)

Hartog brilliantly illuminates the central role that law has played in shaping Americans' ideas about getting old. Poignant, funny, and analytically razor-sharp, this is a groundbreaking book. (Dylan Penningroth, author of The Claims of Kinfolk: African American Property and Community in the Nineteenth-Century South)

With empathy and captivating style, Hartog, a superb historian, offers a memorable analysis of changing family struggles over inheritance and care. (Viviana A. Zelizer, author of Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy)

This is a disturbing book, in the best sense--a transformative book. With unique sensitivity and ingenuity, Hartog tells a profound story about the meaning of inheritance and what one owes and is owed as a member of a family, making brilliant history of seemingly eternal human predicaments. (Amy Dru Stanley, author of From Bondage to Contract: Wage Labor, Marriage, and the Market in the Age of Slave Emancipation)

A page-turner with Dickensian overtones. (Fred A Bernstein New York Times blog 2012-02-15)

Aside from the history of development in this area of law, the book offers a social and cultural history of families caring for their elder members. This book will be of interest not only to those interested in estate law but also students and researchers of gerontology. (C. Ross Choice 2012-07-01)

About the Author

Hendrik Hartog is Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty at Princeton University.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best new book I've read this year June 27 2012
By Carla C. Keirns - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant analysis of the experience of old age caregiving for parents and children as the agrarian 19th century turned into the industrial 20th (circa 1840 to 1940), and families began to face longer life expectancies without the social safety nets of pensions, Social Security, nursing homes, Medicare and Medicaid.

While some may see that era of private provision for one's old age as a lost period of love and rectitude, Hartog paints a compelling but much darker picture. Though his sources center on 200 cases of contested inheritances for the details of how families negotiated old age care in the decades before and after the Civil war (most of the material is circa 1840 to 1910), he places these family dramas in social and legal context and captures an extraordinary amount of detail about how daughters and sons reordered their life plans to care for aging parents and parents used both love and property to lure them to do so.

Who won and who lost, and the fraught bargains and harsh choices both the young and old faced does not minimize the challenges faced by caregivers today, but makes a compelling case for the social supports we have created for the elderly, and the ways that they free the young to pursue their own lives (even if the middle aged must often return home to manage that care).

As one of the leading historians of law in the United States and no stranger to family law (his last book was on marriage). Hartog's analysis of the implications of property law doctrines for how families would arrange their lives explains much about what is the same, and what is very different, from the world faced by our great-great grandparents when they looked to their final years. It also explained to me why in old movies and novels the lawyer was always called to the deathbed to change the will, besides the usual trope in them about the new wife or conniving relatives.

I practice palliative medicine. Legal issues continue to arise at the end of life today: living wills and health care proxies to specify medical wishes and decisionmakers, wills, guardianship of minor children, distribution of property, provision for those left behind, and the rather newer legal practice of arranging trusts to take advantage of Medicaid and preserve family assets to list only the most common. Families continue to face incredible challenges in financing, providing, and managing care, particularly the expectations placed on daughters and the mismatch between those expectations and careers for women when housing costs make it difficult for one income to support a family, and more women have become the primary breadwinners for their families. All of this seems new and overwhelming -- and overwhelming it is -- but as Hartog shows, new, it is not.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not disappointed. May 20 2015
By pcoladawg - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed it except for the font size which I can not fault the author for. Funny how we think we have come so far and yet I continue to handles cases such like the Davison case from 1848. Interesting and worthy of those who are interested in the subject and history.
0 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 23 2012
By Kathy Edens - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I admit that I didn't read the sub-title when I chose to purchase this book so perhaps I deserve to be disappointed. This book is truely a history of inheritance rather than case study of modern estate and inheritance practices. The cases cited are from the mid-1800s so have little value to estate and inheritance law today. A book that I enjoyed titled From the Grave is much more relevant and fun to read.