The History of Childhood: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback)
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While children are a relatively unchanging fact of life, childhood is a constantly shifting concept. Through the millennia, the age at which a child becomes a youth and a youth becomes an adult has varied by gender, class, religion, ethnicity, place, and economic need. As author James Marten explores in this Very Short Introduction, so too have the realities of childhood, each life shaped by factors such as education, expectation, and conflict (or lack thereof). Indeed, ancient Roman children lived very differently than those born of today's Generation Z. Experiences of childhood have been shaped in classrooms and on factory floors, in family homes and orphanages, and on battlefields and in front of television sets. In addressing this diversity, The History of Childhood: A Very Short Introduction takes a global, expansive view of the features of childhood that have shaped childhood throughout history and continue to shape it now. From the rules of Confucian childrearing in twelfth-century China to the struggles of children living as slaves in the Americas or as cotton mill workers in Industrial Age Britain, Marten takes his inspiration from the idea that the lives of children reveal important and sometimes uncomfortable truths about civilization.
About the Author
James Marten is Professor of History at Marquette University, where he has been a faculty member since 1986. He is a past president of both the Society of Civil War Historians and of the Society for the History of Children and Youth, and the author or editor of more than fifteen books.