Building and Breaking Families in the American West (Calvin P. Horn Lectures in Western History and Culture)

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9780826317209: Building and Breaking Families in the American West (Calvin P. Horn Lectures in Western History and Culture)
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This book is the first cultural interpretation of why marriages dissolve so frequently in the West, which has had the highest divorce rate in the world since the 1870s. Riley devotes separate chapters to the life cycle of relationships—courtship, the factors influencing marriage, the difficulties of intermarrying, and the dissolving of unions through separation, desertion, and divorce. She finds that family conflict occurred across cultures throughout the West when traditions clashed and people were unwilling or unable to blend beliefs or practices.

Riley looks at a wide range of courtship and marriage practices among Anglos, Native Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans. She argues that cultural and ethnic traditions often overlapped but never gave rise to widely accepted norms.

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About the Author:

Glenda Riley is Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at Ball State University and has published widely on western women.

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"Nothing like this book exists in the literature. This is a seminal work." -- Anne M. Butler, coeditor of the Western History Quarterly

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