In a review for Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, Michelle Walsh tips her hat to Melinda Cooper for the meticulous research and investigative scope of her book, Family Values. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full article. An excerpt appears below.
“In an academic world flush with and made into silos by specialized topics, research articles, and books, Melinda Cooper’s interdisciplinary integration is a most welcome map of the historical and contemporary forces that created political alliances between neoliberalism and neoconservatism. Tracing neoliberalism and neoconservatism’s shared normative cultural understanding of family as heterosexual and essentially patriarchal, Cooper’s meticulously researched book successfully documents the political forces and moments that altered the current landscape of social welfare, healthcare, and educational debt in the United States. Neoliberals and neoconservatives found common political cause in privatization of these areas through the vehicle of the family rather than through the government. Those who were politically aware and active from the 1960s through the 1980s will find themselves remembering many of these events and moments, but Cooper offers broader historical insights of their scope and implications. Those who grew up later and became politically active from the 1990s onward will be relieved that someone finally has decoded and documented so thoroughly the routes and signposts of the sociocultural political map in these historical areas. This book promises to be a classic study of the role that the family played in fomenting alliances between neoconservatives and neoliberals. Many academic disciplines beyond cultural studies may find particular chapters helpful in the classroom as well.”