What does the "tradition of marriage" really look like? In A History of Marriage, Elizabeth Abbott paints an often surprising picture of this most public, yet most intimate, institution. Ritual of romance, or social obligation? Eternal bliss, or cult of domesticity? Abbott reveals a complex tradition that includes same-sex unions, arranged marriages, dowries, self-marriages, and child brides. Marriage--in all its loving, unloving, decadent, and impoverished manifestations--is revealed here through Abbott's infectious curiosity.
Happiness and redemption can be found at both ends of the leash, in all kinds of placesElizabeth Abbott had always been an animal lover, sharing her life with all kinds of dogs in need. But when worlds collided and her beloved dog Tommy was left behind in Haiti, a new journey began--one that would take her to some very surprising places and ultimately teach her some essential truths about the power of hope and redemption.From the soulless concrete corridors of an American prison to the halls of a Canadian hospital to life among the ruins in post-war Serbia, Abbott meets people whose lives are changed forever by a wagging tail and a pair of soulful eyes--and dogs who find a new lease on life with devoted human companions.Throughout Dogs and Underdogs, Abbott shares her own incredible and often amusing stories of rescuing dogs in need of shelter, friendship, and love: devoted Tommy, the inspiration who began it all; irrepressible Bonzi, the beagle who charmed his way into prisoners’ hearts; sweet Alice, the little mama who survived a puppy mill to be “mothered” by other dogs; and many more. With wit and passion, Abbott digs down into the deepest roots of the human–animal bond, showing us that together people and dogs can find hope and happiness.
From the Hardcover edition.
A History of Marriage explores how marriage developed, and examines real-life experiences in their wider historical context: How did a wealthy couple's experience differ from a poor one's? How did children both fit into and define the shape of marriage? What were a couple's alternatives to staying together, and how long was the average marriage until death ended it? Abbott provides an intriguing look at the way we were, and poses important questions relevant to a 21st-century understanding of marriage.
Haiti is the definitive account of the ruling Duvalier family and its legacy. In 1803, the enslaved people of Haiti vanquished their French masters after a bloody war which left thousands dead. In 1986, Haitians celebrated another victory, as Baby Doc Duvalier fled to France, ending three decades of brutal dictatorship. The Duvalier regime slaughtered at least 50,000 people, many in the infamous Fort Dimanche. Duvalierism drove a million people into exile, cowed the six million that remained and was responsible for the torture of hundreds of thousands. Their oppression shaped modern Haiti as Elizabeth Abbott demonstrates as she traces the repercussions of their actions to the present day, including the earthquake which moved the world.
She has been known as the 'kept woman', the 'fancy woman' and the 'other woman'. She exists as both a fictional character and flesh-and-blood human being. But who is she, really? What do Madame de Pompedour, Heloise, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Eyre and Camilla Parker-Bowles have in common? Why do women become mistresses, and what is it like to have a private life that is usually also a secret life? Is a mistress merely a wife-in-waiting, or is she the very definition of the emancipated, independent female? In Mistresses Elizabeth Abbott intelligently examines the motives of some of history's most infamous and fascinating women. Drawing intimate portraits of those who have - either by chance, coercion or choice - assumed this complex role, from Chinese concubines and European royal mistresses to mobster molls and trophy dolls, Mistresses offers a rich blend of history, personal biography and cultural insight.
Much like oil today, sugar was once the most powerful commodity on earth. It shaped world affairs, influencing the economic policies of nations, driving international trade and wreaking environmental havoc. The Western world's addiction to sugar came at a terrible human cost: the near extinction of the New World indigenous peoples gave rise to a new form of slavery, as millions of captured Africans were crammed into ships to make the dangerous voyage to Caribbean cane plantations. What began as the extraordinarily expensive luxury of nobles and the very wealthy has become a staple in the modern world. Indeed, it played its own role in creating that world, fuelling the workers of the Industrial Revolution, and giving rise to the craze for fast food. Sugar: A Bittersweet History tells the extraordinary, dramatic and thought-provoking story of this most commonplace of products from its very origins to the present day. Elizabeth Abbott examines how and in what quantities we still consume sugar; its role in the crisis of obesity and diabetes; how its cultivation continues to affect the environment; and how coerced labour continues in so many sugar-producing nations. Richly detailed, impeccably researched and thoroughly compelling, Sugar is a comprehensive social history of a substance that has revolutionised the way we eat, and poignant testimony to the suffering endured in the name of satisfying the world's sweet tooth.