Purified by Fire A History of Cremation in America

ISBN-10: 0520236882
ISBN-13: 9780520236882
Edition: 2002
List price: $34.95 Buy it from $3.98
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Description: Just one hundred years ago, Americans almost universally condemned cremation. Today, nearly one-quarter of Americans choose to be cremated. The practice has gained wide acceptance as a funeral rite, in both our private and public lives, as the  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/15/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.034

Just one hundred years ago, Americans almost universally condemned cremation. Today, nearly one-quarter of Americans choose to be cremated. The practice has gained wide acceptance as a funeral rite, in both our private and public lives, as the cremations of icons such as John Lennon and John F. Kennedy Jr. show.Purified by Firetells the fascinating story of cremation's rise from notoriety to legitimacy and takes a provocative new look at important transformations in the American cultural landscape over the last 150 years. Stephen Prothero synthesizes a wide array of previously untapped source material, including newspapers, consumer guides, mortician trade journals, and popular magazines such asReader's Digestto provide this first historical study of cremation in the United States. He vividly describes many noteworthy events--from the much-criticized first American cremation in 1876 to the death and cremation of Jerry Garcia in the late twentieth century. From the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era to the baby boomers of today, this book takes us on a tour through American culture and traces our changing attitudes toward death, religion, public health, the body, and the environment.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Birth, 1874-1896
The Cremation of Baron De Palm
Sanitary Reform
Resurrection and the Resurrectionists
Bricks and Mortar, 1896-1963
The Business of Cremation
The Memorial Idea
Boom, 1963-Present
Consumers' Last Rites
Contemporary Ways of Cremation
Timeline
Abbreviations
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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