By Peter N. Stearns

ISBN-10: 0814781284

ISBN-13: 9780814781289

In contemporary years, Peter N. Stearns has verified himself because the finest historian of yank emotional lifestyles. In books on anger, jealousy, "coolness," and physique picture, he has mapped out the fundamental terrain of the yank psyche.

Now Stearns crowns his paintings of the prior decade with this strong quantity, during which he finds the elemental dichotomy on the middle of the nationwide personality: a self-indulgent hedonism and the famed American informality at the one hand, and a deeply imbedded repressiveness at the other.

Whether looking and collecting tribe or advanced commercial civilization, each social workforce is ruled by means of particular and implicit instructions on find out how to behave. yet those definitions fluctuate extensively. the japanese fear much less approximately public drunkenness than american citizens. Northern Europeans adhere to stricter criteria than american citizens by way of littering. at the present time, we swear extra now and spit much less, talk about intercourse extra and loss of life less.

With an emphasis on intercourse, tradition, and self-discipline of the physique, Stearns lines how specific anxieties take root, and the way they convey inherent rigidity in modern criteria and a obdurate nostalgia for the former 19th century regime.

Battleground of Desire explodes universal knowledge approximately american citizens within the 20th century as normless and tolerant, emphasizing that the majority folks stick to a litany of principles, governing every thing from adultery to undesirable breath.

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Battleground of Desire: The Struggle for Self -Control in Modern America by Peter N. Stearns


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