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The Sacred Remains: American Attitudes Toward Death, 1799-1883 [Paperback]

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Item Number 159479  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   227
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.25" Width: 6.11" Height: 0.54"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 11, 1999
Publisher   Yale University Press
ISBN  0300078684  
EAN  9780300078688  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Sacred Remains traces American attitudes toward the dead from the death of George Washington in 1799 and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 to the emergence of organized mortuary enterprises at the close of the 19th century. Gary Laderman focuses on the place and treatment of the dead human body and the customs and rituals of funerals as guides to the cultural, spiritual, and religious landscape. This is a well-reasoned and researched text that is an important study of grave matters, mortuary arts, and the meaning of death.

Publishers Description
This fascinating book explores the changing attitudes toward death and the dead in northern Protestant communities during the nineteenth century. Gary Laderman offers insights into the construction of an "American way of death," illuminating the central role of the Civil War and tracing the birth of the funeral industry in the decades following the war. "Laderman's work is indispensable for understanding the impact of the Civil War on ideas of death-a subject practically ignored in previous studies of death in the United States. Using photographs, diaries, medical histories, art, and literature, he has produced an indispensable work for understanding the nineteenth-century nation."-Phillip Shaw Paludan, Journal of American History "A persuasive and highly readable discussion of how northern Protestants managed death from the early nineteenth century through the Civil War. An excellent book on an important topic, it marks a new high point in the study of death in American history."-Bruce Baird, H-SHEAR Book Review "A compelling portrait of the dramatic changes in the ways that Americans managed death from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War. An excellent, exciting book."-Jon Butler, Yale University "This is an invaluable work for the family historian to understand the roots of the unique American view on death and the funeral industry that still continues to puzzle, if not horrify, most of the western world "-National Genealogical Society News Magazine

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More About Gary Laderman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gary Laderman is a professor of American Religious History and Cultures at Emory University. He is the author of two books on death in America: The Sacred Remains and Rest in Peace. Laderman is also the director and co-editor of the new online religion magazine, He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gary Laderman currently resides in the state of Georgia. Gary Laderman was born in 1962 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Emory University.

Gary Laderman has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Religions

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Death & Grief > Grief & Bereavement   [1161  similar products]
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3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General   [17908  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Insomniacs take note-This book WILL put you to sleep  Feb 27, 2007
I suspect that somewhere out there a college-level course is given to all would-be college professors,a course in the fine art of lecturing with the aim of putting all but the most strong-willed student to sleep..Likewise,I suspect that there is a further course,for these same would-be college professors on how to write the most sleep-inducing texts possible..Surely if there are such courses given,Professor Gary Laderman MUST have excelled at the latter one,inasmuchas as his book"The Sacred Remains"stands as one of the most dry,boring,waste-of-time reads that I have ever encountered...
The subject matter,"American attitudes toward death-1799-1883",while not exactly everyone's cup of tea,has nonetheless been dealt with better by a whole raft of earlier authors,writers who,unlike Laderman,have the reader in mind.."Popular"histories,on almost any subject,are usually frowned upon by the college-professor type of author..I don't know why this is,especially as it seems hard enough these days to get anyone to read anything beyond trashy novels,self-help books and get-rich-quick tomes..Making the material of one's book "live",making it interesting and easy to follow are the keys to succeeding at this task..One would think that a"teacher"might reasonably be expected to be able to do so,but,somehow,most such works fail...They are about as interesting to read as the telephone directory,and about as well written..
Laderman takes the subject of death and dying and submerges it in dry,boring text passages,often accentuated by unnecessary,three-dollar words..While he does scatter a selection of firsthand accounts about then-prevailing attitudes towards the beloved dead,or the funeral practices of the time,Laderman quickly swamps these often poingnant passages with his own overly-wordy,soperific text,thus deadening the whole effect,and leaving the reader on the point of sleep...
Used as a textbook in some colleges,Laderman's tome represents what is wrong with such works on all levels;They are VERY BADLY WRITTEN,they take often interesting data and bury it in an avalanche of boring text,and are written by people who have no talent for the task...
The old adage states;"Those who can,DO,and those who can't,TEACH"..Laderman's book is a prime example of the truth of this statement

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