Circles and Lines

Circles and Lines

The Shape of Life in Early America

eBook - 2004
Rate this:
In this intimate, engaging book, John Demos offers an illuminating portrait of how colonial Americans, from the first settlers to the post-revolutionary generation, viewed their life experiences. He also offers an invaluable inside look into the craft of a master social historian as he unearths - in sometimes unexpected places - fragments of evidence that help us probe the interior lives of people from the faraway past. The earliest settlers lived in a traditional world of natural cycles that shaped their behaviour: day and night; seasonal rhythms; the lunar cycle; the life cycle itself. Indeed, so basic were these elements that almost no one felt a need to comment on them. Yet he finds cyclical patterns - in the seasonal foods they ate, in the spike in marriages following the autumn harvest. Witchcraft cases reveal the different emotional reactions to day versus night, as accidental mishaps in the light become fearful night time mysteries. their society in newer terms but seemed unable or unwilling to come to terms with that novelty. Americans became new, Demos points out, before they fully understood what it meant. Their cyclical frame of reference was coming un-moored, giving way to a linear world view in early-nineteenth-century America that is neatly captured by Kentucky doctor Daniel Drake's description of the chronography of his life. In his meditation on these three worlds, Demos brilliantly demonstrates how large historical forces are reflected in individual lives. With the imaginative insights and personable touch that we have come to expect from this fine chronicler of the human condition, Circles and Lines is vintage John Demos.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 2004.
ISBN: 0674013247
Branch Call Number: ELECTRONIC BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xi, 98 p.) : ill.
Additional Contributors: ebrary, Inc

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at KCLibrary

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top