The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (Google eBook)
This lively and authoritative volume makes clear that the quest for taste and manners in America has been essential to the serious pursuit of a democratic culture. Spanning the material world from mansions and silverware to etiquette books, city planning, and sentimental novels, Richard L. Bushman shows how a set of values originating in aristocratic court culture gradually permeated almost every stratum of American society and served to prevent the hardening of class consciousness. A work of immense and richly nuanced learning, The Refinement of America newly illuminates every facet of both our artifacts and our values.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Review: The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, CitiesUser Review - Theresa Rothschadl - Goodreads
This book has profoundly changed the way I think about material culture, both as a former museum professional and as a current thinking person. Turns out beautiful things aren't just aesthetic pleasures--they're also tools for domination. Read full review
Review: The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, CitiesUser Review - Kuva - Goodreads
A very entertaining book that goes into a lot of interesting depth about the role manners and material culture played among ambitious Americans in the colonial period. It also makes strong connections ... Read full review