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Clark, Clifford Edward. The American Family Home, 1800-1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
In The American Family Home, Clifford Clark studies the popular ideals found in magazines, advertisements, and plan books about American families and their houses and reveals their relationship to reality. Throughout the period he researches (1800-1960), he declares the house stood as the crowning glory of middle class achievement. he describes in great detail the designs of a variety of housing styles. Each particular style, as envisioned by various reformers, was to develop and reinforce a specific family environment with values such as spiritual harmony, independence, and healthy living. He concludes that the ideals set by these groups were not entirely realized by the middle class population, yet they are significant in that they "set a standard for middle-class aspirations and expectations." The middle class, in every housing era covered, turned to ideals to measure its own success as homeowners and as American families. [M. Murphy]