America's Public Holidays, 1865-1920

America's Public Holidays, 1865-1920

by Ellen M. Litwicki
     
 

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From the revered Memorial Day to the forgotten Lasties Day, America's Public Holidays is a timely and thoughtful analysis of how the civic culture of America has been fashioned. By analyzing how holidays became a forum for expressing patriotism, how public tradition has been invented, and how the definition of America itself was changed, Ellen Litwicki tells

Overview

From the revered Memorial Day to the forgotten Lasties Day, America's Public Holidays is a timely and thoughtful analysis of how the civic culture of America has been fashioned. By analyzing how holidays became a forum for expressing patriotism, how public tradition has been invented, and how the definition of America itself was changed, Ellen Litwicki tells the intriguing story of the elite effort to create new holidays and the variety of responses from ordinary Americans.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Between the close of the Civil War and the end of World War I, Americans invented more than 25 holidays. This study focuses on secular holidays invented or revived during this period. Litwicki (history, SUNY Fredonia) explains that holidays such as Memorial Day, Emancipation Day, Lincoln's Birthday, Labor Day, May Day, Flag Day, and Veterans' Day originated in efforts to commemorate soldierly valor, to assert black citizenship rights, to proclaim workers' centrality to America, to forge a multicultural nation, and to define patriotism as the supreme American virtue. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
“An excellent and well-written book. Litwicki has undertaken a massive task and succeeded. America's Public Holidays provides an excellent overview of the cultural history of public celebrations.”—Journal of American History

“A compelling ethno-cultural interpretation of the historical origins of modern American holidays, as well as a demonstration of how such commemorations emerged from the competition of ethnic and racial groups to tell America's story as their own.”—David Blight, Public Historian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588344168
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Ellen Litwicki is an associate professor of history at the State University of New York, Fredonia.

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