Christmas: A Candid History / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $31.20   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   

Overview

Written for everyone who loves and is simultaneously driven crazy by the holiday season, Christmas: A Candid History provides an enlightening, entertaining perspective on how the annual Yuletide celebration got to be what it is today. In a fascinating, concise tour through history, the book tells the story of Christmas--from its pre-Christian roots, through the birth of Jesus, to the holiday's spread across Europe into the Americas and beyond, and to its mind-boggling transformation through modern consumerism.

Packed with intriguing stories, based on research into myriad sources, full of insights, the book explores the historical origins of traditions including Santa, the reindeer, gift giving, the Christmas tree, Christmas songs and movies, and more. The book also offers some provocative ideas for reclaiming the joy and meaning of this beloved, yet often frustrating, season amid the pressures of our fast-paced consumer culture.

DID YOU KNOW

For three centuries Christians did not celebrate Christmas?

Puritans in England and New England made Christmas observances illegal?

St. Nicholas is an elf in the famous poem "The Night Before Christmas"?

President Franklin Roosevelt changed the dateof Thanksgiving in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season?

Coca-Cola helped fashion Santa Claus's look in an advertising campaign?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this brief sketch of the history of Christmas celebrations and traditions, Forbes draws heavily on previous scholarship by the likes of Stephen Nissenbaum (The Battle for Christmas) and Leigh Schmidt (Consumer Rites), offering an overview that is informed yet concise. Forbes opens by rehearsing biblical scholars' debates about Jesus' birth, showing how little we can glean from the New Testament, then moves into discussions of winter festivals in early church history and the Roman Empire. The more compelling chapters are the latter ones on Christmas in America, discussing its surprising rise to prominence in the mid-19th century. Although this is a secondary work, Forbes does add some tidbits to the debates; for example, he pinpoints cartoonist Thomas Nast as primarily responsible for the mythology of Santa's elf-ridden workshop in a far-off North Pole. Small historical errors mar the text, as when Forbes fails to distinguish between Puritans and Pilgrims, or credits British activist William Wilberforce with the Victorian moral revival, when Wilberforce died before Victoria's accession. However, the book is valuable for its well-proven insistence that Christmas has always been as much a social and commercial festival as a religious one, debunking naïve assumptions that it used to be a purely spiritual holiday in a bygone halcyon age. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Historian Magazine

“Colloquial, straightforward, and colorful. . . . Forbes makes the details delicious.”
Santa Fe New Mexican

“Wonderfully perceptive as well as entertaining.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520251045
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/10/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 187
  • Sales rank: 1,414,605
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce David Forbes, Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside College, is coeditor, with Jeffrey Mahan of Religion and Popular Culture in America (UC Press) and coeditor, with Jeanne Halgren Kilde, of Rapture, Revelation, and the End Times: Exploring the Left Behind Series.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. First There Was Winter
2. Christmas Comes Late
3. Christmas Is Like a Snowball
4. From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus
5. And Then There Was Money
6. Wrestling with Christmas

Notes
Annotated Bibliography
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)