The American Resting Place: 400 Years of History Through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds (Google eBook)

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 15, 2008 - History - 352 pages
21 Reviews
A sweeping history of America as seen through its gravestones, graveyards, and burial practices, stunningly illustrated with eighty black-and-white photographs

Cemeteries and burial grounds, as illuminated by an acclaimed cultural historian, are unique windows onto our religious, ethnic, and deeply human history as Americans.
The dedicated mother-son team of Marilyn and Reid Yalom visited hundreds of cemeteries to create The American Resting Place, following a coast-to-coast trajectory that mirrors the vast historical pattern of American migration.
Yalom’s incisive, often poignant exploration of gravestone inscriptions reveal changing ideas about death and personal identity, and demonstrate how class and gender play out in stone. Rich particulars include the story of one seventeenth-century Bostonian who amassed a thousand pairs of gloves in his funeral-going lifetime, the unique burial rites and funerary symbols found in today’s Native American cultures, and a “lost” Czech community brought uncannily to life in Chicago’s Bohemian National Columbarium.

From fascinating past to startling future--DVDs embedded in tombstones, "green" burials, and “the new aesthetic of death”--The American Resting Place is the definitive history of the American cemetery.

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Review: The American Resting Place: 400 Years of History Through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds

User Review  - Sally Kilpatrick - Goodreads

At times the prose got a little dry and expository, but, on the whole, this is a very, very well written and informative book. Yalom has a great sense of narrative that I don't often see in nonfiction ... Read full review

Review: The American Resting Place: 400 Years of History Through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds

User Review  - Abigail Padgett - Goodreads

Well researched and documented, the book manages to cover several centuries of American history through the lens of burial practices. Sounds boring, but it isn't. It's fascinating. Yalom has a knack ... Read full review


1 Claiming the Land
2 Marking the Grave
3 Solidarity in the Cemetery
4 Distancing the Dead
Boston Massachusetts
Newport Rhode Island
New York City
Philadelphia and Lancaster County
South Carolina and Georgia
Where Its Better to Be Buried above Ground
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About the author (2008)

Marilyn Yalom is a former professor of French and presently a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. She is the author of widely acclaimed books such as A History of the Breast, A History of the Wife, and Birth of the Chess Queen, as well as The American Resting Place: Four Hundred Years of History Through our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds, which includes a portfolio of photographs by her son Reid S. Yalom. She lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, the psychiatrist and author Irvin D. Yalom.

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