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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.
Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn't until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king's fierce warrior and protector. Birth of the Chess Queen examines the five centuries between the chess queen's timid emergence in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire to her elevation during the reign of Isabel of Castile. Marilyn Yalom, inspired by a handful of surviving medieval chess queens, traces their origin and spread from Spain, Italy, and Germany to France, England, Scandinavia, and Russia. In a lively and engaging historical investigation, Yalom draws parallels between the rise of the chess queen and the ascent of female sovereigns in Europe, presenting a layered, fascinating history of medieval courts and internal struggles for power.
How did marriage, considered a religious duty in medieval Europe, become a venue for personal fulfillment in contemporary America? How did the notion of romantic love, a novelty in the Middle Ages, become a prerequisite for marriage today? And, if the original purpose of marriage was procreation, what exactly is the purpose of marriage for women now? Combining "a scholar's rigor and a storyteller's craft"(San Jose Mercury News), distinguished cultural historian Marilyn Yalom charts the evolution of marriage in the Judeo Christian world through the centuries and shows how radically our ideas about marriage have changed. For any woman who is, has been, or ever will be married, this intellectually vigorous and gripping historical analysis of marriage sheds new light on an institution most people take for granted, and that may, in fact, be experiencing its most convulsive upheaval since the Reformation.
Acclaimed scholar Marilyn Yalom distills the central tenets of the Gallic gospel of love from her reading of the great French literary works, as well as from the people she has known and her own memories of France, examining almost a thousand years of divine culture in search of the intimate moments that reveal how the particularly French concept of l'amour has endured and evolved.