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Rules of Engagement

Rules of Engagement

Four Couples and American Marriage Today

In this provocative book, the acclaimed author of Holy Days, Lis Harris, offers a fascinating look at the institution of marriage: how it is changing, what it may yet become.

Rules of Engagement follows the trials and triumphs of four very real couples: upper-class Sarah and Eaton, whose 1950s marriage has been transformed in the wake of feminism; working-class Mike and Claire, who have struggled through multiple separations and reconciliations in their common-law marriage; middle-class African-Americans Carlita and Samuel, striving to succeed with their two young children in an often hostile world; and middle-aged Neal and Vera, idealists whose relationship has survived an experiment with "open marriage."

From these four couples, Harris draws invaluable lessons about relationships in general and about the unique nature of American marriage, an institution that continues to thrive in an ever-changing world because of our willingness to experiment with and reinvent it.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684825274 | 
  • September 1996
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A beloved contemporary classic, Holy Days is a personal account of New York's Hasidic community, its beliefs, its mysteries, and its encounter with secularism in the present age.Combining a historical understanding of the Hasidic movement with a journalist's discerning eye, Harris captures in rich detail the day-to-day life of this traditional and often misunderstood community. Harris chronicles the personal transformation she experienced as she grew closer to the largely hidden men and women of...
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