American Resting Place: 400 Years of History Through Our Cemeteries andBurial Groundsby Marilyn Yalom
Pub. Date: 05/15/2008
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Cemeteries and burial grounds, as illuminated by acclaimed cultural historian Marilyn Yalom, are unique windows onto our religious, ethnic, and deeply human history as Americans. This dedicated
A sweeping history of America as seen through its gravestones, graveyards, and burial practices, stunningly illustrated with eighty black-and-white photographs.
Cemeteries and burial grounds, as illuminated by acclaimed cultural historian Marilyn Yalom, are unique windows onto our religious, ethnic, and deeply human history as Americans. This dedicated mother-son team visited hundreds of cemeteries while developing The American Resting Place, following a coast-to-coast and north-to-south trajectory that mirrors the vast historic pattern of American immigration.
Yalom delivers incisive, often poignant accounts of how gravestone epigraphs reveal changing ideas about death and personal identity; who is buried next to whom and why; when and why cemeteries are moved; and how class and gender play out in stone. Rich particulars include:
• the story of one seventeenth-century Bostonian who amassed a thousand pairs of gloves in his funeral-going lifetime
• burial rites and unique funerary symbols in today's Indian cultures
• a Czech community brought uncannily to life in the crematorium of Chicago's National Bohemian Cemetery
From fascinating past to startling future—DVDs embedded in tombstones, green burials, and "the new aesthetic of death"—The American Resting Place is the definitive history of the American cemetery.
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Table of Contents
Photo Portfolio ix Preface: Tombstones to Live By xiii 1. Claiming the Land 1 2. Marking the Grave 10 3. Solidarity in the Cemetery 28 4. Distancing the Dead 42 5. Death’s-Heads and Funeral Gloves: Boston, Massachusetts 52 6. “Gone Are the Living, but the Dead Remain”: Newport, Rhode Island 68 7. Cemeteries as Real Estate: New York City 82 8. Plain and Fancy: Philadelphia and Lancaster County 98 9. The Southern Way of Death: South Carolina and Georgia 112 10. New Orleans: Where It’s Better to Be Buried above Ground 139 11. Rituals of Remembrance: St. Louis and the Boonslick 151 12. Ethnicity, Religion, and Class in Underground Chicago 170 13. Celebrating the Dead in Polyglot Texas 191 14. California: Missionaries, Miners, Moguls, and Movie Stars 207 15. Who Owns the Bones? Sites and Rites in Hawaii 232 16. National Military Cemeteries 256 17. Old and New Fashions in Death 272 Endnotes 299 Acknowledgments 315 Selected Bibliography 317 Index 321
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