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In this, the first in-depth study of the most American of holidays, James Baker sweeps away lingering myths and misconceptions to show how this celebration day was born and grew to be an essential part of our national spirit. Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday opens with an overview of the popular mythos of the holiday before discussing its possible religious and cultural precedents. This classic Yankee holiday is examined in historical and contemporary detail that embraces everything from proclamations, sermons, and local and regional traditions to family reunions, turkey dinners, and recipes. Thanksgiving's evolving face is illustrated with charming and often revealing period prints that chart our changing attitudes: the influence of Victorian sentiment in Thanksgiving's development, Progressive utilitarianism, intellectual "debunking," patriotic wartime reclamation, and 1960s-era protest. Thanksgiving remains controversial up to the present day, as Mayflower descendants, Native Americans, and commercial exploiters compete for the American public's opinion of the holiday's contemporary significance and its future status. This is an intelligent and illuminating introduction to a beloved holiday and a fascinating cultural history of America and Americana.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. c-i
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  1. Series Page
  2. p. ii
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  1. Title Page
  2. pp. iii-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword: Thanksgiving in America
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Introduction: A Thanksgiving Detective Story
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. 1: New England’s Puritan Holy Days
  2. pp. 14-30
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  1. 2: The Traditional New England Thanksgiving
  2. pp. 31-45
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  1. 3: The Classic New England Thanksgiving Dinner
  2. pp. 46-61
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  1. 4: The Nation Embraces Thanksgiving, 1780–1880
  2. pp. 62-77
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  1. 5: Nineteenth-Century Holiday Imagery in Literature and Art
  2. pp. 78-97
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  1. 6: Enter the Pilgrims
  2. pp. 98-114
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  1. 7: Pilgrims Are for Kids - Thanksgiving in the Progressive Classroom
  2. pp. 115-128
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  1. 8: Imaging the Holiday
  2. pp. 129-144
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  1. 9: Parades, Patriotism, and Consumption
  2. pp. 145-164
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  1. 10: Consensus and Competition - The Postwar Thanksgiving
  2. pp. 165-182
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  1. 11: New Myths for Old—Thanksgiving under Siege
  2. pp. 183-200
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  1. 12: Thanksgiving Now, Then, and Forever
  2. pp. 201-218
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  1. Appendix 1: A Thanksgiving Poem by Henry Bliss
  2. pp. 219-230
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  1. Appendix 2: Some Early Thanksgiving Recipes
  2. pp. 231-232
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  1. Appendix 3: United American Indians of New England Press Release (11 December 1997)
  2. pp. 233-234
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-258
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 259-266
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 267-274
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781584658740
Related ISBN(s)
9781584658016
MARC Record
OCLC
704517343
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-31
Language
English
Open Access
No
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