Mayo, Edith (ed). American Material Culture: The Shape of Things Around Us.

Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1984.

Bowling Green has long made a specialty of American material and social history, and this anthology of twelve rather miscellaneous essays includes some interesting stuff, but the title of the volume is a bit misleading.

More than half of them deal specifically with “women’s culture” — political campaign kerchiefs, gynecology, working-class women and their homes, and so on. I found the piece on mourning artifacts in Victorian America especially interesting, since that’s an entirely foreign concept to us now. Among the others, probably the best is on Southern foodways (since I live in the South and I’m something of a foodie). Not a bad collection, though I wish it had been more systematically thematic. Not much more to say than that. If this is the sort of thing that interests you (as it does me), then you will find this one interesting.

Published in: on 18 August 2015 at 6:25 am  Leave a Comment  

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