THE AMERICAN WAY OF DEATH by Jessica Mitford

THE AMERICAN WAY OF DEATH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very different kind of protest (Daughters and Rebels-1960) grimly reaps the disconsolate facts and statistics of the undertaking industry where the high cost of dying averages $1450. Miss Mitford has laid out all the specious terminology and venal procedures which have been developed to take advantage of the survivor, bereft or bewildered. There are the expensive euphemisms of ""grief therapy"" and the ""memory picture"", as well formalities of the chapel and the slumber room; baskets come high-- so does the burial wear; embalming can be exorbitant, but then returning dust to dust -- cremation- has some concealed costs; and what of the prepaid plot in ""God's little million dollar acre"", or the florists- they're a strong protest group when it comes to ""Please Omit"". Miss Mitford's investigation also covers some earlier funerary practises here and returns to native soil- England- here a no-nonsense approach to death still obtains. She closes with some hopeful reforms and restrictions.... Whatever the reader reluctance, this is a necessary, if not obligatory, expose, establishing as it does the Waughful-truth of The Loved One and it may well attract popular attention.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster