Christopher Lasch (1932–1994) was an American historian.

IN THE REVIEW

Reagan’s Victims

The New Politics of Old Values

by John Kenneth White
The Reagan years can best be characterized as the age of evasion. At a time when the inescapable limits of American national power and economic growth have become increasingly difficult to ignore, Reagan has discredited talk about those limits. He has managed to equate acknowledgment of the country’s troubles with …

The Great American Variety Show

America's Quest for the Ideal Self: Dissent and Fulfillment in the Sixties and Seventies

by Peter Clecak
With his latest book, Peter Clecak has joined Daniel Yankelovich, Alvin Toffler, Herman Kahn, and other cultural forecasters who celebrate the diversity and vigor of American culture and predict a “more abundant life” to come. Although his argument is more complicated and more carefully qualified than theirs, it shares certain …

Happy Endings

New Rules:Searching for Self-Fulfillmentin a World Turned Upside Down

by Daniel Yankelovich
The latest report on cultural trends—another “benchmark of our changing consciousness,” as Daniel Bell generously describes it on the jacket—comes from the founder and president of Yankelovich, Skelly & White, Inc. The polls conducted by his firm over the last twenty years, according to Daniel Yankelovich, indicate that Americans have …

Life in the Therapeutic State

At Odds: Women and the Family in America from the Revolution to the Present

by Carl N. Degler

The History of Sexuality Volume I: An Introduction

by Michel Foucault, translated by Robert Hurley
The growth of the inward-turning, child-centered family, sociologists have long told us, is one of the distinguishing features of the transition from “traditional” to modern society. In the last twenty years, this theme has been elaborated with an increasing abundance of documentation by social historians—Philippe Aries, Eli Zaretsky, Edward Shorter, …

The Siege of the Family

All Our Children: The American Family Under Pressure

by Kenneth Keniston. the Carnegie Council on Children
The plight of the family, so long a professional preoccupation of social scientists and social pathologists, now commands anxious attention among legislators and government bureaucrats. Everyone talks about the need for a “family policy.” President Carter has repeatedly stressed the importance of holding the family together, and a growing number …

The Corruption of Sports

The recent history of sports is the history of their steady submission to the demands of everyday reality. The nineteenth-century bourgeoisie suppressed popular sports and festivals as part of its campaign to establish the reign of sobriety. Fairs and football, bull-baiting and cock-fighting and boxing offended middle-class reformers because of their cruelty and because they blocked public thoroughfares, disrupted the daily routine of business, distracted the people from their work, encouraged habits of idleness, extravagance, and insubordination, and gave rise to licentiousness and debauchery.

In the name of “rational enjoyment” and the spirit of “improvement,” these reformers exhorted the laboring man to forsake his riotous public sports and “wakes” and to stay at his hearth, in the respectable comfort of the domestic circle. When exhortation failed, they resorted to political action.