The Origins of the Red State–Blue State Divide

Family and Civilization Carle C. Zimmerman; Edited by James Kurth with an introduction by Allan C. CarlsonISI Books, 2008; 320 pages, $18.00 The War between the State and the Family:How Government Divides and Impoverishes Patricia MorganTransaction Publishers, 2008; 162 pages, $24.95 When first published in 1947, Family and Civilization was a significant book on the sociology of the family. Thanks to the Background imprint of ISI Books, it is back in print. In this classic, Carle Zimmerman brings clarity to the precise area of today’s greatest confusion: the definition and evolution of the family. Instead of the Triumphant March of Liberation presented by the Life Style Left, the late Harvard sociologist sees an ebb and flow of changes in family structure. Instead of a contrast between the nuclear family and the individualist family, Zimmerman contrasts three different family types. While he agrees with Marx and Engels that family structure is powerfully linked with economics and politics, Zimmerman is more analytical and less ideological. Providing evidence for some of his most fascinating claims sixty years later is The War between the State and the Family, by British scholar Patricia Morgan. As an older work, Family and Civilization can be a challenging read. But the introduction by Allan Carlson makes the ISI Books edition accessible to the intelligent reader, including many non-academics who have become marriage activists by necessity. The edition would also be good reading for college courses in history or sociology. Carlson helps situate Zimmerman, who opposed the neo-Marxist sociologists of the Chicago School, within the larger stream of twentieth-century family sociology. The Chicago School argued that the American family was losing its functions, with fathers and later mothers leaving the home for outside employment. But while mainstream American sociology applauded this trend, giving it the greatest
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