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Death: A History of Man's Obsessions and Fears
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Death: A History of Man's Obsessions and Fears

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  8 reviews
We are fascinated with death; some of us deny it, some try to escape it, most dread it. Filled with strange anecdotes and illustrated with many bizarre and ghoulish images, Death: A History of Man’s Obsessions and Fears records the lengths to which people throughout history have gone to cope with the five principle fears regarding death: the fear of being buried alive; of ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Barnes & Noble
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3.56  · 
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 ·  80 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Cody Sexton
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We can’t imagine our own deaths. Not really. We can’t really imagine what it’s like to be dead. And because of this failure of imagination death can seem to us like an impossibility.
If we can imagine a thing we can begin to gain some control over it, however illusory. This is how we become obsessed with death. It’s something we are psychologically disinclined to understand let alone imagine and the mind has a tendency to revisit things it doesn’t understand over and over again.
It’s been said th
...more
Warhammer Grantham
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a basic overview of the attitudes humans have held towards death and mortality throughout history. The book, while a bit dry and dusty in its language, covers the different attitudes toward death in each age with a dry wit befitting a subject that deals with the treatment of old bones. This book taught me the less than pristine origins of medical knowledge of anatomy, mummies existed outside of ancient Egypt, and just how very bad early medical professionals were at discerning a cor ...more
Emily
Jul 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Pretty fascinating book. It got very slow at times, but explored many topics I'd always wondered about. It covers the way different cultures viewed death through the ages, the way different societies have gone about disposing of the dead, the way cremation works, fears that cultures have had about death and how they've gone about ridding them, the biological process of death, etc. He went on too long about certain topics and not long enough about others, but I finished it feeling like I learned ...more
J.D. Stroube
Mar 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who are fascinated by death
It was not as depressing as I expected it to be...There were some sections that I needed to gloss over, because they were a little too "icky" for me. Overall, it was a decent book when considering the subject.
Misa
Dec 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Pretty awesome historical review of Western society's thoughts and practices on death. Definitely some new information for me bringing some killer visuals... but I'm a sucker for the subject. Oh, and there's pictures. That's right.
Emily
Jul 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great book. Very interesting. Once I came to terms with the subject matter (it felt 'wrong' to be interested in such a thing) it made for a facinating read. It definitely satisfied all of my morbid curiosities!
Natalie
May 31, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: thanatos
I read this under its original title, "The Bedside Book of Death". It never too thoroughly explored any of the topics it covered, but it was an entertaining enough read for a morbid, death-obsessed soul.
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