AHI is pleased to announce the publication of Marriage: The Dream That Refuses to Die (ISI Books, May 2008), by the distinguished historian and literary critic Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (1941-2007). Professor Fox-Genovese, a friend of and mentor to two of the AHI’s founders, was the Eleonore Raoul Professor of the Humanities and founding director of the Institute of Women’s Studies at Emory University. A member of the Governing Council of the National Endowment of the Humanities and a recipient of the National Humanities Medal in 2003, Professor Fox-Genovese was at the time of her death working on expanding for publication a series of lectures on marriage that she had presented as the Charles E. Test, M.D., Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.
Her lectures prove compelling, subtle, tightly-reasoned, and historically grounded. They range across time and cultures, from pre-Christian societies to nineteenth-century Cherokee traditions to present-day Massachusetts. She forthrightly engages the complex contemporary debates on marriage, sprinkling literary, theological, legal, and sociological insights throughout.
Recognizing marriage’s privileged status as the primary social unit, Professor Fox-Genovese writes, “Marriage for love—the promise of an enduring and engulfing bond between a man and a woman—is a dream that refuses to die. In defiance of the rising tides of cynicism, sexual liberation, promiscuity (before, after, and during marriage), and declining interest in children, the dream still promises that we will finally be loved as we long to be loved.”
Sheila O’Connor-Ambrose, Alexander Hamilton Fellow–who holds a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from Emory University and who was a close friend and former student of Professor Fox-Genovese–edited the lectures and wrote the book’s introduction. Marriage: The Dream That Refuses to Die is the first book in the ISI series American Ideals and Institutions, published in partnership with the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University and edited by Robert P. George. Professor George, who serves on the AHI’s Board of Academic Advisors, contributed the book’s afterword.