family secretsDeborah Cohen’s relentlessly compelling book Family Secrets unravels a complex and tangled history of how privacy, secrecy, and shame colluded and collided in the making of modern British family life. The book raises provocative issues about class and power, about intimacy and autonomy, and about the dynamics of today’s confessional culture, where secrets are viewed as inherently destructive and transparency is equated with freedom. In this roundtable, Matt Houlbrook, Sarah Igo, Claire Langhamer, and David Vincent reflect on the reverberations of Cohen’s story.

Marybeth Hamilton

Family Secrets: Shame and Privacy in Modern Britain by Deborah Cohen
Published 24 April 2013. 400 Pages. 39 illustrations. ISBN: 9780199977802

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