4-2 | Babysitter: An American History

Book Review

Babysitter: An American History

Miriam Forman-Brunell
New York: New York University Press, 2009. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. 315 pp. $30.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780814727591

by Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

First Paragraph:

Baby-sitters performed the crucial function of enabling ordinary, middle-class parents to participate in the emerging leisure economy of the mid-twentieth century. With a baby-sitter at home, adults were free to play. Yet, as the cover of Baby-sitter: An American History suggests by reproducing Norman Rockwell’s famous 1947 illustration for the Saturday Evening Post (called Babysitter with Screaming Infant), the baby-sitter had many disputed meanings—some factual, some fictional, and some mythical.