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The Cult of Childhood


reviewed by M. A. Eckstein 1967

coverTitle: The Cult of Childhood
Author(s): George Boas
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: , Pages: , Year:
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When W. C. Fields was asked how he liked children, he is supposed to have said, "Broiled!"; but child-hatred as an adult way of Me is rarely voiced so bluntly in the so-called advanced countries of the world today. This is not to say that it might not lurk beneath the surface. Bertrand Russell's view is that hostility is natural to the adult view of childhood. For many centuries, according to him, children were seen as limbs of Satan. Then, in the nineteenth century, they came to be regarded as angels of innocence. One could hardly spank those delicate beings who possessed the unique qualities ascribed to them by Rousseau and Wordsworth. So parents invented new devils, no longer theological ones inspired by Satan, but scientific ones: Freudian demons of the unconscious; the unbearable pressures of adolescence; the impact of society itself. When parents could no longer wallop the little... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 69 Number 1, 1967, p. 91-95
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 2059, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 1:55:50 PM

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