The American Resting Place by Marilyn Yalom.
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A sweeping history of America as seen through its gravestones, graveyards, and burial practices, stunningly illustrated with eighty black-and-white photographs Cemeteries and burial grounds, as illuminated by an acclaimed cultural historian, are unique windows onto our religious, ethnic, and deeply human history as Americans. The dedicated mother-son team of Marilyn and Reid Yalom visited hundreds of cemeteries to create The American Resting Place, following a coast-to-coast trajectory that mirrors the vast historical pattern of American migration. Yalom's incisive, often poignant exploration of gravestone inscriptions reveal changing ideas about death and personal identity, and demonstrate how class and gender play out in stone. Rich particulars include the story of one seventeenth-century Bostonian who amassed a thousand pairs of gloves in his funeral-going lifetime, the unique burial rites and funerary symbols found in today's Native American cultures, and a "lost" Czech community brought uncannily to life in Chicago's Bohemian National Columbarium. From fascinating past to startling future--DVDs embedded in tombstones, "green" burials, and "the new aesthetic of death"--The American Resting Place is the definitive history of the American cemetery.