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Clambake: A History and Celebration of an American Tradition
     

Clambake: A History and Celebration of an American Tradition

by Kathy Neustadt
 
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.

Overview

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870237829
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
07/29/1992
Series:
Publications of the American Folklore Society, New Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.86(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.76(d)
Lexile:
1510L (what's this?)

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