9780679744146

The Refinement of America

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780679744146

  • ISBN10:

    0679744142

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 1993-08-31
  • Publisher: Vintage

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Summary

This lively and authoritative volume makes clear that the quest for taste and manners in America has been essential to the serious pursuit of a democratic culture. Spanning the material world from mansions and silverware to etiquette books, city planning, and sentimental novels, Richard L. Bushman shows how a set of values originating in aristocratic court culture gradually permeated almost every stratum of American society and served to prevent the hardening of class consciousness. A work of immense and richly nuanced learning,The Refinement of Americanewly illuminates every facet of both our artifacts and our values.

Author Biography

Richard Lyman Bushman, Gouverneur Morris Professor of History, Emeritus, at Columbia University, grew up in Portland, Oregon, and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University. He has also taught at Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware. His From Puritan to Yankee: Character and Social Order in Connecticut, 16901765 won the Bancroft Prize in 1967. His other books include Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (1984), winner of the Evans Biography Award; King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (1985); and The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (1992). A practicing Mormon, he lives in New York City with his wife, Claudia.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Gentility 1700 - 1790
The Gentrification of Rural Delawarep. 3
The Courtesy-Book Worldp. 30
Bodies and Mindsp. 61
Houses and Gardensp. 100
Cities and Churchesp. 139
Ambivalencep. 181
Respectability 1790 - 1850
Vernacular Gentility in Rural Delawarep. 207
The Comforts of Homep. 238
Literature and Lifep. 280
Religion and Tastep. 313
City and Countryp. 353
Culture and Powerp. 402
Notesp. 449
Indexp. 485
List of Illustrations and Creditsp. 501
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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