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The Mansion Of Happiness: A History Of Life And Death (2012)

by Jill Lepore(Favorite Author)
3.42 of 5 Votes: 1
0307592995 (ISBN13: 9780307592996)
review 1: Really glad I read this. The author was inspired by her mother's death and most of the chapters began as essays in The New Yorker. Jill Lepore traces the history of American ideas about life and death. The fascinating - sometimes quirky facts - she provides illustrate her talents as a great researcher and that the reader is never bored illustrates her talents as a great writer. The latter part of the book focuses on the role American politics has had on debates about life and death and is what I probably enjoyed the most. Thought-provoking and definitely worth reading.
review 2: Taking as a framing device the Milton Bradley game Life's evolution from Victorian morality play to 1950s consumer grab, Lepore examines the stages of life in vivid, short chapters ill
... moreustrating the rapid and widely shifting ways Americans have come to view what is expected out of a lifetime. Among the telling ideas are the political battles over breastfeeding (should the IRS allow a breast pump as a deduction?), how the woman who invented children's rooms in public libraries also tried to block the publication of Stuart Little, cringeworthy 1970s puberty instruction guides, the eugenics roots of "Can This Marriage Be Saved?," scientific management experts Taylor and the Gilbreths disagreeing on "happiness minutes," Parent's magazine boosting circulation and parental anxiety by touting emergencies like Parrot Fever and Comic Book Delinquents and of course, Ted Williams' cryogenically frozen head. less
Reviews (see all)
A fun, fast, fact-riddled tour of the great preoccupations of us mortal beings. A lovely read.
Some really interesting stuff, but I walked away wanting more from it.
A beautiful, bizarre, rambling history of life stages.
Nonfiction Book group March 2013.
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