Clambake / Edition 1

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Both a loving celebration of an annual community event, the century-old Allen's neck clambake, and an insightful examination of how public rituals like it help people define who they are.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Combining history, ethnography, reportage and essay, an independent folklore scholar offers a wealth of perspectives on the not-so-humble clambake. Prompted by a visit to the Allen's Neck Clambake, a southeastern Massachusetts institution for more than 100 years, Neustadt traces the clambake's roots to both Native American practice and invented Yankee tradition. Her earnest, effusive description of the Allen's Neck feast covers the town's heritage (Quaker, Portuguese, summer visitors) and details the anatomy and aesthetic of the clambake--from ticket sales to constructing a fire to picking clams. Neustadt is no Calvin Trillin, but for two-thirds of the book she eschews academic jargon in favor of clear prose. In a final, more academic section, she argues that none of the common analytical categories--clambake as food, festival or ritual feast--sufficiently explains the event. With its old-fashioned foods and community spirit, the clambake, she writes, affirms identity in a time when society is fragmenting. Illustrations. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The annual clambake, celebrated for over 100 years by the community of Allen's Neck in southeastern Massachusetts, is the focus of this ethnographic study. Neustadt, who has a doctorate in folklore and folk life, examines the history of the New England clambake from its Native American origin to its reinvention as a postindustrial pastime. She carefully records every aspect of properly preparing the seaside feast at Allen's Neck. She also explores the clambake's symbolic significance, revealing its importance as an expression of community identity. Recommended for academic and regional history collections.-- Eloise R. Hitchcock, Tennessee Technological Univ. Lib., Cookeville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870237997
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 7/29/1992
  • Series: Publications of the American Folklore Society Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,303,187
  • Product dimensions: 6.77 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Prologue: The Bake 10
Sect. 1 The New England Clambake: A History 15
1 Early Evidence 17
2 The Politics of Feasting 29
3 Leisure and Industry 49
Sect. 2 The Allen's Neck Bake: An Ethnography 71
4 A Portrait of Allen's Neck 73
5 One Hundred Years of Clambaking 89
6 How They Do It at Allen's Neck 103
Sect. 3 Clambakes and Meaning 133
7 Food, Ritual, and Festivity 137
8 Concluding Thoughts: Clam Juice and Melted Butter 161
Notes 189
References 209
Index 221
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