AMERICAN MANNERS & MORALS by Mary & American Heritage--Eds. of Cable


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What with the 700 illustrations representative of the quality and limitless resources of this publisher, this is a stereopticon view of America from bundling to sacking out, since, in the words of John Winthrop, ""as people increased, so sin abounded."" However any book dealing with ""manners and morals"" inevitably covers almost all aspects of life--religious and educational institutions, government, sports and pastimes, fashions and etiquette, concepts of child rearing or adult behavior in every stratum. In the beginning--there was the Puritan ethic, followed by its decline, and the Colonial and Victorian eras which receive the most extensive and cohesive treatment here. The book, as do the times, seems to fragment with modernity so the closing insets are more and more a-chronological and random. Although the use of the insets has been frequent throughout, whether illustrating contemporary documents or bathrooms or boarding houses or the Beecher-Tilton scandal or what have you. Miss Cable's pertinent commentary is implemented by the abundant pictures which range from apposite marginal line drawings to double color spreads and bring back all those only yesterdays when a good cigar cost 3¢ or a shopgirl earned $3.00 a week...In the index you will find coffins, not coffee tables, but then there weren't any for a book like this to enliven and enhance.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1969
Publisher: American Heritage