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Bowing to Necessities : History of Manners in America, 1620-1860

Bowing to Necessities : History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 - 99 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195154085

Cover of Bowing to Necessities : History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 99 (ISBN 978-0195154085)
ISBN13: 978-0195154085
ISBN10: 0195154088
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 99
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 1999
International: No

List price: $53.00

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Bowing to Necessities : History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 - 99 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195154085

C. Dallett Hemphill

ISBN13: 978-0195154085
ISBN10: 0195154088
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 99
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 1999
International: No
Summary

Anglo-Americans wrestled with some profound cultural contradictions as they shifted from the hierarchical and patriarchal society of the seventeenth-century frontier to the modern and fluid class democracy of the mid-nineteenth century. How could traditional inequality be maintained in the socially leveling environment of the early colonial wilderness? And how could nineteenth-century Americans pretend to be equal in an increasingly unequal society?

Bowing to Necessities argues that manners provided ritual solutions to these central cultural problems by allowing Americans to act out--and thus reinforce--power relations just as these relations underwent challenges. Analyzing the many sermons, child-rearing guides, advice books, and etiquette manuals that taught Americans how to behave, this book connects these instructions to individual practices and personal concerns found in contemporary diaries and letters. It also illuminates crucial connections between evolving class, age, and gender relations. A social and cultural history with a unique and fascinating perspective, Hemphill's wide-ranging study offers readers a panorama of America's social customs from colonial times to the Civil War.

Features

  • A cultural history with a unique and revealing perspective
  • A study which cuts across race, class, gender, and age relations--and which sheds new light on the origins of modern manners
  • A fascinating analysis of the telling yet overlooked role that manners played in the first 240 years of our history
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