Friday, March 16, 2012

Mayeri on Hartog, "Someday All This Will Be Yours"

Writing for Jotwell, Serena Mayeri (University of Pennsylvania) has reviewed Someday All This Will Be Yours: A History of Inheritance and Old Age (Harvard University Press, 2012), by Hendrik Hartog. Here's the first paragraph:
Modern medicine, the rise of the welfare state, and profound cultural shifts have transformed old age in the industrialized world. Or have they? Hendrik Hartog’s history of inheritance disputes from 1850 to 1950 excavates a world both familiar and foreign.  Then, older people who dreaded loneliness and destitution promised generous bequests of property in exchange for care and solicitude from younger adults. In turn, younger adults sacrificed opportunities—independence, mobility, marriage, fortune-seeking—to remain close to home and to provide arduous and intimate care in the hope of recompense, often in the form of real estate.
Read on here.