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The Reshaping of Everyday Life 1790-1840
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The Reshaping of Everyday Life 1790-1840

(Everyday Life in America)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  18 reviews
"A busy, bustling, industrious population"
Rhythms & limits of life
"Comfortable habitations": houses & the domestic environment
"The masks which custom had prescribed": intimate life
"The whole population is in motion": the experience of travel
"The practice of music"
"Occasions to meet together": the social world
Selected Bibliography
Paperback, 367 pages
Published November 1st 1989 by Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. (NYC) (first published November 1988)
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4.06  · 
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 ·  197 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Peter Bringe
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Jack Larkin does a wonderful job examining early American daily life, with an emphasis on the changes that occurred from 1790 to 1840. While it might be more obvious for some in our day to point to the changes in the last century, there was a sizable shift in culture as America came into the Victorian era. As Larkin points out, not everyone experienced these changes equally, yet in time they would reshape just about everything.

These changes were not uniformly good or bad. To generalize, the old
Mar 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of History & Americana
Shelves: non-fiction, history
This popular history rates well and does just what the title implies – it chronicles the changes that affected everyday life in the early 1800's. I now have a much clearer picture of many aspects of ordinary life in America.

What invention was most important, besides ready-spun cloth? We would never think of it now, but it was the cookstove. That device made such a profound improvement in daily life that people then talked about it most. But throughout the book, the technical improvements in ever
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you love American history, and want answers to how people lived and survived when our country was young - this is it. Great read during a cold winter!
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Very good book. Frankly, you can pick this book up and read any chapter you like, depending on your area of interest (work-life, housing, travel, music, etc). I found this book to be very interesting and well-written.
Shirley C
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The ever changing customs, mores and habits of the American people. This book detailed description of the lives of our ancestors through the years, decades and centuries. I will return to it again.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating from start to finish!
Scott Younkin
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A very well written and comprehensive social history of great
Use to writers. I strongly recommend this book to all those interested in this era.
Richard Subber
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Reshaping of Everyday Life will help you to understand why you’re in love with penicillin, your Toyota, the salad bar, and forced air heat.
“The good old days” is a familiar concept, but, frankly, in just about any context you can think of, it doesn’t make any sense. Most folks in the past lived tougher, more dangerous, and less amusing lives than most folks enjoy today.
Jack Larkin has assembled 349 pages of minutely interesting documentation that probably tells more than you thought you want
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, non-fiction
The author quotes diaries, letters, and reports written at the time to help describe how people lived in the years after America gained its independence. He also quotes statistics (on number of children, etc.) and archaeological studies. It's amazing how much changed in just fifty years.

I'll warn you that this book is a bit dense (like a textbook), but I never found it boring or difficult to read. If you're researching the time period or are a serious history lover, I'd recommend this book.
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
An interesting and easy to read popular history. I cannot lie: I read it for an undergraduate course and it served its purpose. It gives a nice overview of changes of everyday life and the effects of technology. Excerpts could be taken for a high school course for inquiry and small shock value for students.
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Regardless of what others might think, I think of myself as the proverbial "common man." This is about this group's history during what I find the most interesting period of American history. Reshaping from the anxiety of the brand New Republic to the full-bodied power of Antebellum American ready to nearly tear itself apart with its strength.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book for historians looking to learn how ordinary folks lived. It covers things most authors of history don't : everyday life in America. Everything from how Americans walked, ate, sang, their sex lives, and customs are covered. Great resource for any historian, especially those doing living history.
Stephen Harrigan
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the handiest, most useful books in my library. I find myself going back to it again and again for information about the texture of early 19th century American life. I'm especially fond of its wide-ranging bibliography.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
It's not narrative history, so you can't approach it that way, but detail after detail builds up real sense of the time. It's fascinating stuff.
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fic
A readable, well documented study of the ways in which life changed for Americans as they built the new republic.
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very, very interesting discussion of everyday life in the early 1800s. Fascinating period of change in American history and life.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very good. Answers questions about histories mysteries.....
Hunter McCleary
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Took a lot of notes. See card.
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“Every individual,” wrote another enormously perceptive portrayer of ordinary life, Harriet Beecher Stowe, “is part and parcel of a great picture of the society in which he lives and acts, and his life cannot be painted without reproducing the picture of the world he lived in.” 0 likes
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