Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

Capa
Macmillan, 9 de jan de 2007 - 320 páginas
From the bestselling social commentator and cultural historian, a fascinating exploration of one of humanity's oldest traditions: the celebration of communal joy
In the acclaimed Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich delved into the origins of our species' attraction to war. Here, she explores the opposite impulse, one that has been so effectively suppressed that we lack even a term for it: the desire for collective joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing.
Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture. Although sixteenth-century Europeans viewed mass festivities as foreign and "savage," Ehrenreich shows that they were indigenous to the West, from the ancient Greeks' worship of Dionysus to the medieval practice of Christianity as a "danced religion." Ultimately, church officials drove the festivities into the streets, the prelude to widespread reformation: Protestants criminalized carnival, Wahhabist Muslims battled ecstatic Sufism, European colonizers wiped out native dance rites. The elites' fear that such gatherings would undermine social hierarchies was justified: the festive tradition inspired French revolutionary crowds and uprisings from the Caribbean to the American plains. Yet outbreaks of group revelry persist, as 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 concludes that we are innately social beings, impelled to share our joy and therefore able to envision, even create, a more peaceable future.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Comentário do usuário  - Marlenealvarado - LibraryThing

I loved this book! It was joyous to realize that I have forgotten to dance and in so doing lost a lot of joy in my life. I have a tendency towards depression, but when I was able to dance as part of ... Ler resenha completa

LibraryThing Review

Comentário do usuário  - JeremyPreacher - LibraryThing

I liked this and found it an interesting read. Ehrenreich presented some historical events in an unusual light - the rise of Protestantism as a reaction against the increasing disapproval by the ... Ler resenha completa

Conteúdo

Invitation to the Dance
1
of Carnival
77
The Rock Rebellion
207
Carnivalizing Sports
225
The Possibility of Revival
247
Notes
263
Bibliography
283
Acknowledgments
303
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Sobre o autor (2007)

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of fourteen books, including Blood Rites and the New York Times bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. A frequent contributor to Harper’s and The Nation, she has been a columnist at The New York Times and Time magazine. She lives in Virginia.

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