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Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy | [Barbara Ehrenreich]

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

From best-selling social commentator and cultural historian Barbara Ehrenreich comes this fascinating exploration of one of humanity's oldest traditions: the celebration of communal joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing. Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture, showing that such mass festivities have been indigenous to the West since the ancient Greeks.
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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling social commentator and cultural historian Barbara Ehrenreich comes this fascinating exploration of one of humanity's oldest traditions: the celebration of communal joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing.

Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture, showing that such mass festivities have been indigenous to the West since the ancient Greeks. Though suppressed by elites who fear the undermining of social hierarchies, outbreaks of group revelry still persist, 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 shows that we are innately social beings, impelled to share our joy and thereby envision a peaceable future.

©2006 Barbara Ehrenreich; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A serious look at communal celebrations, well documented and presented with assurance and flair." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Ehrenreich writes with grace and clarity in a fascinating, wide-ranging, and generous account." (Publishers Weekly)

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    Brendan Arlington, VA, United States 12-18-10
    Brendan Arlington, VA, United States 12-18-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Such an important, unique work"

    The beginning starts out a little slower, but WELL worth waiting it out as it moves forward chronologically....just clearly represents a serious, creative level of research and shines a light and what amounts to be a sad reality about the lack of meaningful, collective opportunities to just enjoy life with those around us (through food, drink, music, even dancing).

    I hope it helps drive a real push for more of exactly those things, and i know myself that i want to do anything i can, even in small ways, to push all of that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Mary Bridgewater, NJ, United States 10-21-09
    Mary Bridgewater, NJ, United States 10-21-09
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    "Shades of lectures past"

    I tried to listen, but gave up. This reminded me of my worst courses in grad school, required ones given by professors who stood woodenly in front of the class and read their magnum opus to us in a monotone.
    And, like the worst of them, it contained no revelations before I was mentally asleep.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
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