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In this highly readable, informative if specialized history, Larkin, historian at the re-created Colonial Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, describes the social changes that accompanied the country's swift development in its first decades of independence. He cites statistical research and quotes contemporary observers from abroad on various aspects of day-to-day significance: the gradual disappearance of the self-contained family farm and village artisan, for example, as textile plants, shoe factories and other enterprises took "control of materials and product out of the hands of the craftsmen and put them into those of merchant capitalists." Larkin also discusses the drop in family size as land became scarcer and settlement moved westward, as well as the steady improvement in housing and available goods brought by the railroads. Readers are reminded of the lack of refinement prevalent in those timesthe dirtiness of home, grounds and person, the crudity of food and dress, the commonplace of cold-climate Americans sharing beds with strangers in roadside inns. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a great book for gaining insight into the lives of most people in the first half of the 19th century.Published 10 days ago by Matthew Savage
Read this through carefully. Conservatives who commented and complained above should be taken to task. The author has no agenda. Read morePublished 24 days ago by isolotus
Awesome book took it out as a library book but had to have my own copy.Published 4 months ago by Kate Pyle
Very detailed information about the life back then. Each category was short and to the point, which I liked. A good read.Published 7 months ago by Lyn
Well written and accurate, but I would have liked more correlation of the details of life with the historical events taking place at the time.Published 14 months ago by L. C. Gard
Covers what folks then..and drank..a lot more alcohol than I thought ..what the houses were like...how they handled the bathroom bit...I read it in 2 days .. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mary
This is a 349-page, hardbound book in 6" x 9" format that deals with exactly what the name implies, namely, how everyday life changed in the period from... Read more