The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 21, 2011 - History - 528 pages
2 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DarthDeverell - LibraryThing

In The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities, Richard L. Bushman “narrates the story of the changes [in refinement] in American society beginning around 1690 and continuing until gentility ... Read full review

THE REFINEMENT OF AMERICA: Persons, Houses, Cities

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A historical survey of the idea of gentility as expressed in architecture, furnishings, fashions, manners, and taste from about 1690-1850. Bushman (History/Columbia; co-editor, Uprooted Americans ... Read full review


The Gentrification of Rural Delaware
The CourtetjBook World
and Churches
Ambivalence 15
9 o 185 0
Vernacular Gentility in Rural Delaware
of Home
Literature and Life
City and Country 3
Culture and Power

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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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