Family and Civilization is the magnum opus of Carle Zimmerman, a distinguished sociologist who taught for many years at Harvard University. In this unjustly forgotten work Zimmerman demonstrates the close and causal connections between the rise and fall of different types of families and the rise and fall of civilizations, particularly ancient Greece and Rome, medieval and modern Europe, and the United States. Zimmerman traces the evolution of family structure from tribes and clans to extended and large nuclear families to the small nuclear families and broken families of today. And he shows the consequences of each structure for the bearing and rearing of children; for religion, law, and everyday life; and for the fate of civilization itself.
Originally published in 1947, this compelling analysis predicted many of today’s cultural and social controversies and trends, including youth violence and depression, abortion and homosexuality, the demographic collapse of Europe and of the West more generally, and the displacement of peoples. This new edition, part of ISI Books’ Background series, has been edited and abridged by cultural commentator James Kurth of Swarthmore College and includes essays on the text by Kurth, Allan Carlson, and Bryce Christensen.