Publisher description for Facing the "King of Terrors" : death and society in an American community, 1750-1990 / Robert V. Wells.
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In this book, death, a topic often neglected by historians, is given the attention it deserves as one of the most important aspects of personal and societal experience. Facing the King of Terrors examines changes in the roles and perceptions of death in one American community, Schenectady, New York, from 1750 to 1990. A remarkably thorough study, this work incorporates a wide variety of topics, including causes of death, epidemics and the reactions they engender, rituals surrounding dying and burial, cemeteries and grave markers, public celebrations of the deaths of important figures, reactions to war, and businesses that profit from death. Combining an in-depth look at patterns of death in society as a whole with an investigation of personal responses to such cultural customs, the book makes use of personal letters and diaries to explore how broader social changes were manifested in the lives of individuals.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Death Social aspects New York (State) Schenectady History, Mortality Social aspects New York (State) Schenectady History, Funeral rites and ceremonies New York (State) Schenectady History, Mourning customs New York (State) Schenectady History, Schenectady (N, Y, ) Social life and customs