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Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar

Readings on Courting and Marrying

Edited by Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass

“Man’s desire for woman and woman’s need of man are the beginning, middle, and end of the human story. In our current modern condition of deaf self-regard—and at God knows what cost—most of us pay scant attention to this story. In the present volume Leon and Amy Kass invite us precisely to stop and listen. They are healers, then, and at the same time in the most profound sense of the term they are also entertainers.” —Midge Decter, author of The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women’s Liberation

“Reading this book is the next best thing to gaining a coveted seat in one of the University of Chicago seminars taught by Amy and Leon Kass. In an era when fashionable opinion speaks of courting and marrying in ironic tones or not at all, the Kasses do something unfashionable. They put us in touch with thinkers, past and present, who treat the task of finding and winning a marriage mate for what it is: a pursuit central to human life and happiness. At a time when young people are floundering and failing in their search for the right person to marry, this splendid selection of readings comes not a minute too soon.” —Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, author of The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and the Family (1997)

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Courting and Marrying is an anthology of source readings offered as a response to the contemporary cultural silence surrounding love that leads to marriage. It addresses important questions that emerge not from theory, but from practice: Why marry? Is this love? How can I find and win the right one to marry? What about sex? Why a wedding and the promises of marriage? What can married life be like? Using readings from Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Aquinas, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Austen, Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Miss Manners, and many others, this collection challenges our unexamined opinions, expands our sympathies, elevates our gaze, and introduces us to possibilities open to human beings in everyday life that may be undreamt of in our current discourse.

This unapologetically pro-marriage anthology is intended to help young people of marriageable age and their parents think about the meaning, purpose, and virtues of marriage and, especially, about finding the right person with whom to make a life.

ISBN: 978-0-268-01959-4
652 pages
Publication Year: 2000

Amy A. Kass is Senior Lecturer in the Humanities Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago. She is the author of American Lives: Cultural Differences, Individual Distinction.

Leon R. Kass is Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus of Social Thought and at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature and, with James Q. Wilson, The Ethics of Human Cloning.

“Here is a splendid introduction to the romance missing in our lives today: how to think about romance, how to control it, how to enjoy it.” —Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University

“‘Courting’ has long been archaic. ‘Marrying’ is threatening to become so. This book is not only a theoretical defense of the older concepts but a practical manual, a guide to the perplexed. The introduction alone, by Amy and Leon Kass, is worth the price of the book, and the readings, ranging from Homer to Miss Manners, are a fount of wisdom.” —Gertrude Himmelfarb, author of The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values

“What once seemed self-evident connections between love and marriage are today obscured and widely denied. This book . . . is a corrective that both instructs and delights. In order to lift up the charms and complexities of man and woman’s need for each other, the Kasses enlist the help of Homer, Aquinas, Shakespeare, Austen, Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, and a host of other worthies. Their extended introduction is rare wisdom distilled through their own marriage and in lively conversation with the best that has been thought and said about keeping faith with the promise of love. This is a book to return to again and again, tasting and testing the wondrous diversity of ways in which that promise has been, and can be, lived. There are also powerful cautionary tales about the tragic consequences of the promise betrayed. Highly recommended for both personal reflection and classroom use.” —First Things, January 2000

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar is essentially a Book of Virtues for lovers and lovers-to-be. It teaches a higher form of sex education—a form which cultivates awe for the depth and breadth of marital love while showing respect for the fragility of the human heart. Get your hands on the Kasses’ new book and consider its wise counsel.” — William R. Mattox, USA Today

“[F]or many rich insights … into the rewards of the common life, there is no better place to start than with this book.” — Commentary

“_Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar_ assembles ‘the best that can be thought and said’ about love, courtship and marriage in an effort to ‘elevate and inspire the imagination … to prepare hearts and minds for romance leading to lasting marriage.” — Catholic Faith & Family

“_Wing to Wing_ cannot help awaken a salutary awareness of our often contradictory desires. Most of all, it opens up vistas of human potential for our malnourished youth, stunted by years of gender theory, Fox TV, and parents who laugh at naked dorms.” — The Public Interest

“This truly classic book sets the course for true love. Those who seek to restore romance to its proper place, as something that leads to the particular end of marriage, will benefit by either dipping periodically or wading deeply into the selections of Wing to Wing. And they will praise the Kasses for bringing all of these pieces together in one volume that teaches both young and old the wisdom of the ages.” — Family Policy

“…a serious and magnificent book…An excellent book for anyone seeking love, who is the marrying kind, or curious about it, or who is currently “involved.” Or perhaps it could be required reading for all those distracted students who sit in class dreaming of the person next to them.” — National Post

“The Kasses’ book, Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar, offers plenty of food for thought about issues relating to romantic love and marriage” — St. Anthony Messenger

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar is meant to be a classroom text, a springboard for discussion, and this is its greatest strength.” — Commonweal

“The wisdom contained in [this anthology] is well-suited… to direct our judgments about how to live.” — The Wall Street Journal

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar lets us listen in at a symposium of thinkers from the Western and Jewish traditions as they ponder the best way to get from love to marriage.” — The Jerusalem Post

“This is, arguably, the best anthology of readings on courting and marrying in print today.”— National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

“The Kasses have produced a fine volume on marriage and courtship.”— Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

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Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar

Readings on Courting and Marrying


Edited by Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass

 Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying
Cloth Edition
Paper Edition

“Man’s desire for woman and woman’s need of man are the beginning, middle, and end of the human story. In our current modern condition of deaf self-regard—and at God knows what cost—most of us pay scant attention to this story. In the present volume Leon and Amy Kass invite us precisely to stop and listen. They are healers, then, and at the same time in the most profound sense of the term they are also entertainers.” —Midge Decter, author of The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women’s Liberation

“Reading this book is the next best thing to gaining a coveted seat in one of the University of Chicago seminars taught by Amy and Leon Kass. In an era when fashionable opinion speaks of courting and marrying in ironic tones or not at all, the Kasses do something unfashionable. They put us in touch with thinkers, past and present, who treat the task of finding and winning a marriage mate for what it is: a pursuit central to human life and happiness. At a time when young people are floundering and failing in their search for the right person to marry, this splendid selection of readings comes not a minute too soon.” —Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, author of The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and the Family (1997)

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Courting and Marrying is an anthology of source readings offered as a response to the contemporary cultural silence surrounding love that leads to marriage. It addresses important questions that emerge not from theory, but from practice: Why marry? Is this love? How can I find and win the right one to marry? What about sex? Why a wedding and the promises of marriage? What can married life be like? Using readings from Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Aquinas, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Austen, Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Miss Manners, and many others, this collection challenges our unexamined opinions, expands our sympathies, elevates our gaze, and introduces us to possibilities open to human beings in everyday life that may be undreamt of in our current discourse.

This unapologetically pro-marriage anthology is intended to help young people of marriageable age and their parents think about the meaning, purpose, and virtues of marriage and, especially, about finding the right person with whom to make a life.

ISBN: 978-0-268-01959-4

652 pages

“Here is a splendid introduction to the romance missing in our lives today: how to think about romance, how to control it, how to enjoy it.” —Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University

“‘Courting’ has long been archaic. ‘Marrying’ is threatening to become so. This book is not only a theoretical defense of the older concepts but a practical manual, a guide to the perplexed. The introduction alone, by Amy and Leon Kass, is worth the price of the book, and the readings, ranging from Homer to Miss Manners, are a fount of wisdom.” —Gertrude Himmelfarb, author of The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values

“What once seemed self-evident connections between love and marriage are today obscured and widely denied. This book . . . is a corrective that both instructs and delights. In order to lift up the charms and complexities of man and woman’s need for each other, the Kasses enlist the help of Homer, Aquinas, Shakespeare, Austen, Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, and a host of other worthies. Their extended introduction is rare wisdom distilled through their own marriage and in lively conversation with the best that has been thought and said about keeping faith with the promise of love. This is a book to return to again and again, tasting and testing the wondrous diversity of ways in which that promise has been, and can be, lived. There are also powerful cautionary tales about the tragic consequences of the promise betrayed. Highly recommended for both personal reflection and classroom use.” —First Things, January 2000

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar is essentially a Book of Virtues for lovers and lovers-to-be. It teaches a higher form of sex education—a form which cultivates awe for the depth and breadth of marital love while showing respect for the fragility of the human heart. Get your hands on the Kasses’ new book and consider its wise counsel.” — William R. Mattox, USA Today

“[F]or many rich insights … into the rewards of the common life, there is no better place to start than with this book.” — Commentary

“_Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar_ assembles ‘the best that can be thought and said’ about love, courtship and marriage in an effort to ‘elevate and inspire the imagination … to prepare hearts and minds for romance leading to lasting marriage.” — Catholic Faith & Family

“_Wing to Wing_ cannot help awaken a salutary awareness of our often contradictory desires. Most of all, it opens up vistas of human potential for our malnourished youth, stunted by years of gender theory, Fox TV, and parents who laugh at naked dorms.” — The Public Interest

“This truly classic book sets the course for true love. Those who seek to restore romance to its proper place, as something that leads to the particular end of marriage, will benefit by either dipping periodically or wading deeply into the selections of Wing to Wing. And they will praise the Kasses for bringing all of these pieces together in one volume that teaches both young and old the wisdom of the ages.” — Family Policy

“…a serious and magnificent book…An excellent book for anyone seeking love, who is the marrying kind, or curious about it, or who is currently “involved.” Or perhaps it could be required reading for all those distracted students who sit in class dreaming of the person next to them.” — National Post

“The Kasses’ book, Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar, offers plenty of food for thought about issues relating to romantic love and marriage” — St. Anthony Messenger

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar is meant to be a classroom text, a springboard for discussion, and this is its greatest strength.” — Commonweal

“The wisdom contained in [this anthology] is well-suited… to direct our judgments about how to live.” — The Wall Street Journal

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar lets us listen in at a symposium of thinkers from the Western and Jewish traditions as they ponder the best way to get from love to marriage.” — The Jerusalem Post

“This is, arguably, the best anthology of readings on courting and marrying in print today.”— National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

“The Kasses have produced a fine volume on marriage and courtship.”— Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

The Ethics of Everyday Life