Learning to Behave A Guide to American Conduct Books Before 1900
Learning to Behave A Guide to American Conduct Books Before 1900
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  • ISBN-13: 9780313267529
  • ISBN: 0313267529
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated



A popular genre from colonial times to 1900, the conduct book provides the youthful reader with authoritative guidance about right moral, religious, and gender role behavior. With the aim of teaching the young what they need to know--and believe--about society's expectations for the ideal young man and woman, the genre codified "true" American manhood and womanhood. Until now, conduct books have been mixed in and cataloged with books on manners, etiquette, education, religion, or success. This guide provides an analytic and historical overview of the conduct book as a genre and its cultural work in America. With an annotated bibliography of over 500 books, it is the first work to provide scholars interested in studying the cultural stance, intent, and importance of conduct-of-life texts with easy access to conduct books. The book provides an extensive overview of the conduct book, with separate chapters on the development of conduct books for children, men, and women. The fully annotated bibliography, which lists the conduct books by their intended audience, includes 196 conduct books for children, 142 texts for young men, 188 titles for young women, and 57 texts for adults of either sex. In addition, the work includes a short selected bibliography of secondary sources and an index. This guide opens the genre for further study.Newton, Sarah E. is the author of 'Learning to Behave A Guide to American Conduct Books Before 1900' with ISBN 9780313267529 and ISBN 0313267529.

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