Americans have an unusually strong family ideology. We believe that morally self-sufficient nuclear households must serve as the foundation of a republican society. In this brilliant history, Barry Levy traces this contemporary view of family life all the way back to the Quakers. He argues that the Quakers brought a new vision of family and social life to America – one that contrasted sharply with the harsh, formal world of the Puritans in New England. The Quaker emphasis was on affection, friendship, and hospitality. They stressed the importance of women in the home, and of self-disciplined, non-coercive childrearing. Quakers and the American Family explains how and why the Quakers had such a profound cultural impact (and why more so in Pennsylvania and America than in England), and what the Quakers’ experience with their own radical family system can tell us about American family ideology.