112th: Cheryl Mendelson on VOWS

Event date: 
05/08/2024 - 7:00pm

Join us Wednesday, May 8th at 7pm at 7pm for a reading and conversation with Cheryl Mendelson to celebrate the release of Vows: The Modern Genius of an Ancient RiteValerie Paley will join in conversation. 

In order to facilitate this in-person author event, we will be partially closing the second floor starting at 6:45pm. Please review our Safety guidelines and register for the event using the link below. 

   

or register using the following link: https://forms.gle/QBWAgRNWW3pKLXHs6


From the bestselling author of Home Comforts comes the story of our wedding vows—what they mean and why they still matter.

In the West, marrying is so thoroughly identified with ceremonial promises that “taking vows” is a synonym for getting married. So, it’s a surprise to realize that this custom is actually a historical and anthropological oddity. Most of the world, for most of history, married without making promises. And there’s a reason for that. Marriage by vow presupposes free choice, and free choice makes a love-match possible. It is a very modern arrangement.

Vows is both a moving memoir of two marriages and a thoughtful meditation on marriage itself. Cheryl Mendelson tackles the sociology of commitment through our most traditional promises and shows why they endure. In considering the kind of marriage these vows entail, she helps answer some of life’s most urgent and personal of questions: Could I, would I, or should I make these promises to someone? Using history and literature, the book describes the parameters of the behavior that traditional vows promise and, in doing so, answers a whole series of other questions: Why did wedding-by-vow arise only in the West? Why are they recited in weddings around the world today? Why have these vows lasted for nearly a thousand years? Why does the kind of marriage promised in the vows survive?


Cheryl Mendelson is a Harvard Law School graduate, a sometime philosophy professor, and a novelist (Morningside Heights and Love, Work, Children). In 1999, she authored the classic bestselling resource for every American household, Home Comforts. Born into a rural family in Greene County, Pennsylvania, she lives in New York City with her husband.

Valerie Paley is senior vice president and the Sue Ann Weinberg Director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Society. Formerly the chief historian at the institution, she was founding director of its Center for Women’s History, the first such center in the United States within the walls of a major museum. A graduate of Vassar College, Paley holds an MA in American Studies and a PhD in History from Columbia University, where she serves on the adjunct faculty at the Columbia Center for American Studies. Her work at New-York Historical encompasses a critical range of curatorial, scholarly, and administrative responsibilities, including the development of a new joint MA Program in Museum Studies with the CUNY School of Professional Studies, which launched in fall 2019. Paley is the 2020 recipient of the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award, recognizing distinguished contributions to the field of public history.

Event address: 
Book Culture
536 W 112th St
New York, NY 10025
Vows: The Modern Genius of an Ancient Rite By Cheryl Mendelson Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668021569
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 7th, 2024