- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: University of Arkansas Press (July 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1557285969
- ISBN-13: 978-1557285966
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Expansion of Everyday Life, 18601876
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From Publishers Weekly
The period encompassing the Civil War, Reconstruction, Western expansion, foreign migration and the shift in U.S. population centers from rural to urban areas was also a time of extensive industrial and social development, records Sutherland, professor of history at McNeese State University in Louisiana. Yet, as this excellent third volume of the Everyday Life in America series illustrates, most people, though affected by the major upheavals of history, simply pursued their personal lives. Sutherland chronicles dating and marriage customs, the dangers and discomforts of mining and life in the gambling dens, saloons, dance halls and "cathouses" of the period. Living conditions of soldiers on both sides in the Civil War are portrayed vividly, as are the necessities of life on the home front--dwellings from town houses to prairie dugouts; food; clothing; and the characteristic work and play of American families. The author also details the experiences of industrial and agricultural laborers (including children), professionals and merchants and the roles assumed by church and school in urban, rural and immigrant communities. Culminating with a description of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, this lively study should inspire renewed interest in the social history of the U.S. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This is an immensely readable overview of a sixteen-year span in United States history. Of course, it can't give an in-depth insight into every different aspect, but it does a great job giving you a general idea. As well, the author does not shy away from the injustices shown to African-Americans, Native Americans, and ethnic minorities. A lengthy bibliography which lead you on to further reading about city crime, pioneer lives, sickness, and other details of 19th century life. The other four books in this series, EVERYDAY LIFE IN EARLY AMERICA; THE RESHAPING OF EVERYDAY LIFE: 1790-1840; VICTORIAN AMERICA: TRANSFORMATIONS IN EVERYDAY LIFE, 1876-1915; and UNCERTAINTY OF EVERYDAY LIFE, 1915–1945 are also recommended.
There is not another history book of this era that I would recommend higher than this.
On the other hand the narrative was somewhat sketchy in many cases, mentioning important aspects of day-to-day life only in passing, probably due to the fact that the book is intended to provide a general picture of the period. Personally, I would've preferred if the author had expounded on quite a few topics, home life, for example (my sphere of interest), but in the chapter "Life at Home" he goes from a brief description of daily routines (greatly generalized at that) to fashions to cosmetics to household chores etc. - all that within the space of a few pages. It made my head spin. Unfortunately, this happened a lot throughout the book.
Nevertheless, the book was engaging, its quality - excellent, the language - clear, conscise, and perfectly understanable even for a non-native speaker of English like myself. I would recommend it for those who only recently began to study the period, for it provides an excellent starting point for further research on topics of interest.
The technological growth over this era had a strong effect on the daily lives of people beyond manufacturing facilities or cities.
I have found the everyday life series of books quite rewarding in pursuing the social history of my ancestors. I have taken up exploring my ancestry and learning what they experienced in each era has made this exploration that much fuller.