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The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities

The Refinement of America Persons Houses Cities 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 mans

  • Title: The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities
  • Author: Richard L. Bushman
  • ISBN: 9780679744146
  • Page: 468
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 graduallThis 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 America newly illuminates every facet of both our artifacts and our values.

    • Best Read [Richard L. Bushman] Ä The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities || [Biography Book] PDF Ø
      468 Richard L. Bushman
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      Posted by:Richard L. Bushman
      Published :2019-04-18T09:58:46+00:00

    About "Richard L. Bushman"

    1. Richard L. Bushman

      Richard Lyman Bushman published widely in early American social and cultural history before completing his biography, Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling Among his books were From Puritan to Yankee Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690 1765 and The Refinement of America Persons, Houses, Cities He teaches courses on Mormonism in its broad social and cultural context and on the history of religion in America, focusing on the early period He has special interests in the history of Mormon theology and in lived religion among the Mormons He has taken an active part in explaining Mormonism to a broad public and in negotiating the tensions between Mormonism and modern culture.

    562 Comments

    1. Horace Bushnell, a congregationalist minister, was one of the people who attempted to resolve some of the contradictions between belief in a republican form of government and an emulation of the gentility handed down from european monarchies. I found this interesting:"The creation of human taste, he went on to say with astounding confidence, were extensions of the original divine creative act. 'Architecture, gardening , music, dress, chaste and elegant manners- all inventions of human taste- are [...]


    2. I enjoyed this one so much that I chose to apply Bushman's main thesis to the settlement of Maine for one of my final papers. Granted, this is pretty dense, and not every chapter is enthralling all the way through. The wealth of information Bushman packs into this thing, though, is pretty impressive. I don't see how he could cover anything else, he gets to: fancy houses in eighteenth century Delaware, courtesy books, grand staircases and gardens, the fancifying of the old stodgy New England meet [...]


    3. In his 1992 work The Refinement of America Richard Bushman proposes that an aristocratic culture of gentility shaped early American society and capitalism. Drawing on the material culture of 18th and 19th century American city planning, architecture, fashions and luxury objects Bushman traces its progressive diffusion from the colonial elite into the middle class of the early republic. From its inception in the styles of the aristocratic courts that clustered around centralizing monarchs in the [...]


    4. I found this book really eye-opening. It helped me understand a great deal about how we live now and how we got where we are. For instance, I could see why we all have living rooms that we don't use. So the book offered a unique bridge from the past to the present.


    5. Bushman has done a wonderful job of examining material culture and the idea of refinement in 18th century etiquette books. At the level of an physical description and examination of homes, churches, gardens, and the layout of cities it is endlessly interesting and includes wonderful illustrations. He traces the American absorption of aristocratic forms of behavior and living. On the level of analysis it is a bit hamhanded, giving little time to works that examine things like class, religion, con [...]


    6. American colonists had an "obsessive desire to achieve gentility." They tried to refine themselves and be British.• Why did the parlor become so important?• Wealthy families built mansions, European goods, mastering polite behavior, handwriting, body, speech, dress. “Obsessive desire to achieve gentility”• Americans used to be functional, in two room houses. Now they're in mansions, parlors, etc.• Social life was an unrelenting performance. Big parlors, grand staircases, balls, conce [...]


    7. I would have given this book 4.5 stars if I could. If you're interested in cultural rather than political history (generals and kings), this is a book for you. There are chapters that lean towards the academic - dense with specific detail - but don't let that stop you from reading on. The idea that gentility, which started in the aristocratic life of Italy, filtered down through the British gentry and American businessmen to farm houses and immigrant log cabins is a remarkable story. Was your (o [...]


    8. By the early years of the 19th century, members of the emerging bourgeois class were increasingly preoccupied with the acquisition and display of particular modes of behavior and kinds of objects associated with the civilized “genteel” culture of the old aristocracy: a culture of “refinement” (Carter 30). Possessions made the man and status of people/communities could be judged by the way people carried and presented themselves.In an era when Americans were obsessed with the performance [...]


    9. A very entertaining book that goes into a lot of interesting depth about the role manners and material culture played among ambitious Americans in the colonial period. It also makes strong connections to how many of these objects/styles/modes of thought derived from European practices. It's not as strong in talking about political and social context in America, in distinguishing different regions, or in mixing its analysis with a more overt discussion of women, African-Americans, or Native Ameri [...]


    10. I learned a lot about the culture of the American elite through the mid-19th century, and how that is reflected in their possessions, houses, and city development. However, it is a very academic book. The first two chapters were a difficult introduction, if you are unfamiliar with the topic, but once you "get" them, you "get" the book. Later chapters get repetitive.


    11. This book has profoundly changed the way I think about material culture, both as a former museum professional and as a current thinking person. Turns out beautiful things aren't just aesthetic pleasures--they're also tools for domination.


    12. Interesting book about the changing of early log cabin, plain living America to the emergence of a separate wealthier class who built grand homes and lived more refined lives during the late 1700's and early 1800's.






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