Academic journal article The Journal of Psychohistory

Childhood in World History

Academic journal article The Journal of Psychohistory

Childhood in World History

Article excerpt

Peter N. Stearns, Childhood in World History. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Reviewed by Lloyd deMause

During the past 35 years since I published The History of Childhood, psychohistorians including myself have published over 200 books and articles (mainly in this Journal) giving an enormous amount of evidence backing up my research into primary sources that showed that the further back in history the more likely children were to be killed, tied up, beaten, terrorized and sexually abused. In recent decades, there have been several dozen books like Stearns' Childhood in World History purporting to cover the same childhood history, and all of them have, like Stearns, given a cheery view of childrearing by the simple device of never mentioning our extensive evidence, never mentioning my seven books and 80 articles on the subject, never mentioning the Journal of Psychohistory.

Steams relies solely on secondary sources, so rarely encounters a real parent abusing a real child. The result is students in family history courses are presented with a picture of children being treated much as they are today. …

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