Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

Barbara Ehrenreich


"Fascinating . . . An admirably lucid, level-headed heritage of outbreaks of pleasure from Dionysus to the thankful Dead."―Terry Eagleton, The Nation

Widely praised as "impressive" (The Washington publish booklet World), "ambitious" (The Wall highway Journal), and "alluring" (The la Times), Dancing within the Streets explores a human impulse that has been so successfully suppressed that we lack even a time period for it: the will for collective pleasure, traditionally expressed in revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing.

Drawing on a wealth of background and anthropology, Barbara Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal occasion in human biology and tradition. From the earliest orgiastic Mesopotamian rites to the medieval perform of Christianity as a "danced faith" and the transgressive freedoms of carnival, she demonstrates that mass festivities have lengthy been significant to the Western culture. In fresh centuries, this festive culture has been repressed, cruelly and sometimes bloodily. yet as Ehrenreich argues during this unique, exhilarating, and eventually positive e-book, the celebratory impulse is just too deeply ingrained in human nature ever to be thoroughly extinguished.

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