By Kristin Celello
Examining the marriage counseling profession, advice columns in women's magazines, movies, and television shows, Celello describes how professionals and the public worked together to define the nature of marital work throughout the twentieth century. She also demonstrates that the maxim of "working at marriage" often masked important inequalities in regard to men's and women's roles within marriage. Most experts, for instance, assumed that women needed marriage more than men and thus held wives accountable for marital success or failure.
Making Marriage Work presents a new interpretation of married life in the United States, illuminating the interaction of marriage and divorce over the century and revealing how the idea that marriage requires work became part of Americans' collective consciousness.