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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 15, 2008 - History - 352 pages
2 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thornton37814 - LibraryThing

Yalom has given us an interesting look at many different cemeteries across the United States. She begins her tour in Boston and makes her way along selected locations on the east coast such as Rhode ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NewsieQ - LibraryThing

This book begins with a general history of cemeteries, but most is spend on descriptions of unique and/or historical cemeteries across the U.S. I would have preferred more text on the former and more ... 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
Photo Insert

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About the author (2008)

Marilyn Yalom is the author of the critically acclaimed Birth of the Chess Queen, A History of the Wife, A History of the Breast, and The American Resting Place.

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