Science & Tech

Researcher creates controversy with view of loving families

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Steven Ozment at center of struggles among historians

One of the foremost authorities on the history of the family in the early modern period, Steven Ozment has from his first forays into this field attracted controversy. His latest book, “Ancestors: The Loving Family in Old Europe” is a summing up of that work. It is also a window through which the layperson can glimpse some of the most important struggles taking place among historians today. “I’m a lightning rod, I really am,” Ozment says. “People used to say, whenever I walk into a room, there’s going to be an argument, and I’m not sure I would consider that a criticism.” Among other things, Ozment has been criticized for saying that people in the past loved their children and that husbands and wives, at least in some cases, cared about and respected one another.