Riney-Kehrberg’s new book examines childhood through a historian’s eyes

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Pamela Riney-Kehrberg

Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, professor and chair of history at Iowa State University, published a new book that surveys the landscape of childhood from the Civil War through the present.

“The Nature of Childhood: An Environmental History of Growing Up in America since 1865” was recently published by University Press of Kansas. The book examines why and how children have moved indoors and lost touch with nature as a result.

“I want people to come away from my book understanding that children’s lives have changed dramatically since the 1970s and 1980s, and to understand that those changes haven’t happened for just one reason,” said Riney-Kehrberg.

Riney-Kehrbeg drew on her own experiences when she addressed the mid-20th century and also the appeal of radio and television.

“The best part of the book was having the opportunity to examine my own childhood environments through a historian’s eyes, and to see how my experiences compared with those of others who had grown up in roughly the same time and place.”

“The Nature of Childhood" is Riney-Kehrberg’s fifth book. Her previous book was "Always Plenty to Do: Growing Up on a Farm in the Long Ago," published in 2011 by Texas Tech University Press.

History is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State. -30-

NEWS RELEASE College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University Contacts: Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, History (515) 294-7286, prinkeh@iastate.edu Mary-Kate Burkert, Liberal Arts and Sciences Communications, mburkert@iastate.edu Steve Jones, Liberal Arts and Sciences Communications, (515) 294-0461, jones@iastate.edu