The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (Google eBook)

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 21, 2011 - History - 528 pages
8 Reviews
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, Cities

User 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, Cities

User 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

Contents

The Gentrification of Rural Delaware
13
The CourtetjBook World
30
o
100
and Churches
139
Ambivalence 15
181
9 o 185 0
190
Vernacular Gentility in Rural Delaware
207
of Home
238
Literature and Life
280
City and Country 3
354
Culture and Power
402
Index
485
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Richard Lyman Bushman, Gouverneur Morris Professor of History, Emeritus, at Columbia University, grew up in Portland, Oregon, and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University. He has also taught at Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware. His From Puritan to Yankee: Character and Social Order in Connecticut, 16901765 won the Bancroft Prize in 1967. His other books include Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (1984), winner of the Evans Biography Award; King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (1985); and The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (1992). A practicing Mormon, he lives in New York City with his wife, Claudia.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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