The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History

Overview

The Last Great Necessity is a quite wonderful, and often surprising, portrait of American popular culture in action. As David Charles Sloane traces the history of modern cemeteries he meets all the ambivalences and coping strategies Americans have used when they have been forced by nature to confront the meanings of their lives. - From Sam Bass Warner, Jr., Boston University.
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Overview

The Last Great Necessity is a quite wonderful, and often surprising, portrait of American popular culture in action. As David Charles Sloane traces the history of modern cemeteries he meets all the ambivalences and coping strategies Americans have used when they have been forced by nature to confront the meanings of their lives. - From Sam Bass Warner, Jr., Boston University.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This study of American cemeteries over the past 200 years uses four central examples to demonstrate the evolution of cemetery construction. Beginning with a centrally located burial ground (New Haven, 1796), the book examines the development of the rural cemetery movement (Mount Auburn, 1831), the beginnings of formal landscaping (Spring Grove, 1845), and the creation of modern, uniform memorial parks (Forest Lawn, 1913). Although not the central focus of the study, accompanying changes in American funeral practices and attitudes toward death are also discussed. This book serves as an American counterpart to Philippe Aries's landmark European study The Hour of Our Death ( LJ 2/1/81). Studies of death and burial customs are becoming more common in the field of social history; this title is essential for libraries that collect in this area.-- Linda Smith, Mobil Corp. Lib., Fairfax, Va.
Booknews
Sloane presents the transformation of American cemeteries from church- yards to suburban memorial parks, showing how this transformation was influenced by economic and practical needs. He includes descriptions of America's most famous cemeteries and some photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

David C. Sloane teaches at Dartmouth Medical School. Four generations of his family have designed, landscaped, and managed cemeteries in Ohio and New York.Creating the North American Landscape.Gregory Conniff, Bonnie Loyd, and David Schuyler, Consulting Editors.

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