[bksvol-discuss] Submitted/nonfiction

  • From: "Deborah Murray" <blinkeeblink@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2011 13:11:43 -0400

Hi all,

I've just submitted for proofing "Dancing In The Streets: A History Of
Collective Joy" by Barbara Ehrenreich.

It's been read through w/errors corrected, headers stripped, chapter
titles/page numbers present, text/headings/footnotes formatted. 321 pages.

From the bestselling social commentator and cultural historian, a
fascinating exploration of one of humanity's oldest traditions: the
celebration of communal joy. In the acclaimedBlood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich
delved into the origins of our species' attraction to war.  Here, she
explores the opposite impulse, one that has been so effectively suppressed
that we lack even a term for it: the desire for collective joy, historically
expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing.
Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and
culture.  Although sixteenth-century Europeans viewed mass festivities as
foreign and "savage," Ehrenreich shows that they were indigenous to the
West, from the ancient Greeks' worship of Dionysus to the medieval practice
of Christianity as a "danced religion. " Ultimately, church officials drove
the festivities into the streets, the prelude to widespread reformation:
Protestants criminalized carnival, Wahhabist Muslims battled ecstatic
Sufism, European colonizers wiped out native dance rites.  The elites' fear
that such gatherings would undermine social hierarchies was justified: the
festive tradition inspired French revolutionary crowds and uprisings from
the Caribbean to the American plains.  Yet outbreaks of group revelry
persist, as Ehrenreich shows, pointing to the 1960s rock-and-roll rebellion
and the more recent "carnivalization" of sports.  Original, exhilarating,
and deeply optimistic,Dancing in the Streets concludes that we are innately
social beings, impelled to share our joy and therefore able to envision,
even create, a more peaceable future.


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