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Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America
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Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Though it has often been passionately criticized--as fraudulent, exploitative, even pagan--the American funeral home has become nearly as inevitable as death itself, an institution firmly embedded in our culture. But how did the funeral home come to hold such a position? What is its history? And is it guilty of the charges sometimes leveled against it?
In Rest in Peace, G
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Paperback, 296 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2003)
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Alyza Surani
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Stupidly verbose. Lack of a cohesive argument. If Laderman just cut out, like, 75% of the excess quotations and evidence, he would have a significantly more convincing pamphlet of about 30 pages. He argues that the use of embalming and open-casket funerals is essential to grief management and that the average American appreciates the use of embalming and viewings of the body. However, Laderman never provides any evidence from the people to support his argument. All of his quotations and evidence ...more
Rachel
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Much of this book is about the funeral industry, but there's some good, weird pop culture stuff as well. I particularly like the part about Walt Disney and Snow White.

The evil queen is convinced that after Snow White eats from the poisoned apple, she will be "buried alive" and no longer a threat to her own status as the "fairest in the land." ...

The dwarfs foil the queen's plans by not burying the young woman. Like many Americans at the time, the dwarfs were fixated on being close and seeing the
...more
Cynthisa
Feb 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
From my old book log: "About the funeral biz. Coulda been fascinating, but instead was quite boring. Too bad." ...more
Geof Sage
May 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 53-borrowed
Borrowed 23-slash-53. (STILL NO NEW KEYBOARD). This was recommended in something else I read recently, probably Technologies of the Human Corpse.

Normally, I really enjoy books about the culture of death (because ON BRAND), but this one was very shallow to me. I wanted to know more but this seemed like a rushed monograph that didn't say enough about the importance of the changing role of the undertaker, but just instead a description thereof.
...more
Julianna
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! Eye opening read!
Tracey
Jan 12, 2008 marked it as to-read
393 Laderman 2003 -- Referenced in Remember Me (Lisa Takeuchi Cullen)> Ginnie gave 4 stars & Rachel Stults gave 5 stars
Noran Miss Pumkin
Sep 23, 2008 marked it as a-wishlist
Shelves: dead-death
thanks again for the nod on another cool looking book!
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Got to page 96, then had to return to the library. Don't have time to check it out again right now, so I'm backlisting it and home to finish it at some point in the near future. ...more
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Gary Laderman is the Professor of American Religious History and Cultures at Emory University. He received his B.A. in psychology from California State University, Northridge, and his M.A. and Ph. D. from the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. He also spent a year in Paris, France, as a graduate student, studying at the Center for Critical Studies and the Sorbon ...more

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