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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.
Oh, how the French love love! For hundreds of years, they have championed themselves as guides to the art de l'amour through their literature, paintings, songs, and cinema. A French man or woman without amorous desire is considered defective, like someone missing the sense of smell or taste. Now revered scholar Marilyn Yalom intimately examines the tenets of this culture's enduring gospel of romance.Basing her delightfully erudite findings on her extensive readings of French literature, as well as memories of her personal experiences in la belle France, Yalom explores the many nuances of love as it has evolved over the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present. Following along, step-by-step, on her romance-tinged literary detective hunt, the reader discovers how the French invented love, how they have kept it vibrant for more than nine centuries, what is unique in the French love experience, and what is universal.
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.
In today's culture, the bonds of female friendship are taken as a given. But only a few centuries ago, the idea of female friendship was completely unacknowledged, even pooh-poohed. Dating back to the Greeks and the Romans, women were long considered "weaker" than men and constitutionally unsuited for friendship at the highest level. Only men, the reasoning went, had the emotional and intellectual depth to develop and sustain these meaningful relationships.Surveying history, literature, philosophy, religion, and pop culture, acclaimed author Marilyn Yalom and coauthor Theresa Donovan Brown demonstrate how women were able to co-opt the public face of friendship throughout the years. Chronicling shifting attitudes toward friendship--both female and male--from the Bible and the Romans to the Enlightenment, to the women's rights movements of the 1960s up to Sex and the City and Broad City, they reveal how the concept of female friendship has been inextricably linked to the larger social and cultural movements that have defined human history.With Yalom and Brown as our guides, we delve into the fascinating historical episodes and trends that illuminate the story of friendship between women: the literary salon as the original book club, the emergence of female professions and the working girl, the phenomenon of gossip, the advent of women's sports, and more.Lively, informative, and richly detailed, The Social Sex is a revelatory cultural history.