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Himmelfarb presents a fresh view of the Victorian intertwining of manners and morality and its impact on sexuality, marriage, poverty, and women's rights. But The De-Moralization of Society is also a blistering critique of our current-day penchant for banishing virtue from public life. Lively, acerbic, and long overdue, the resulting book is certain to be required reading on both sides of the values divide.
"Even one who does not share Gertrude Himmelfarb's conservative view of things must still find her intelligence and insight bracing. It is displayed not only in the Victorian intellectual and cultural history that is her proper field, but also in her lucid observations on the intellectual predicament of our own day."--The Boston Globe
Table of Contents
Prologue: From Virtues to Values
1. Manners and Morals
2. Household Gods and Goddesses
3. Feminism, Victorian Style
4. "The Mischievous Ambiguity of the Word 'Poor'"
5. "Gain All You Can...Give All You Can"
6. The Jew as Victorian
7. The New Women and the New Men
Epilogue: A De-Moralized Society
Postscript: The "New Victorians" and the Old