The american way of death revisited. Nonfiction Book Review: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford, Author Knopf Publishing Group $25 (304p) ISBN 978 2019-02-10

The american way of death revisited Rating: 9,5/10 1948 reviews

The American Way of Death Revisited

the american way of death revisited

I have first-hand experience with the death care industry. I said that cleansed us of that. He knew this because his dad once wrote a book about funeral service, and although he took an ad in the Saturday Evening Post, it sold only three hundred copies. He is, after all, the expert, the one who knows how these things should be arranged, who will steer her through the unfamiliar routines and ceremonies ahead, who will see that all goes as it should. I was also shocked and amused to find that this was the one area okay, maybe not the one area, but let's go with that for humor purposes where I found myself vehemently standing on the side of religion - but then again, I never really stand on the side of business, and when there are only two sides, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Hast hit on the simple and highly effective scheme of having a photo taken of each local church.

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The American way of death (Book, 1963) [commissarylounge.com]

the american way of death revisited

Evidently, there is some confusion here between items that properly belong in a cost-accounting system and items of actual service rendered in any given funeral. Years ago, while there was no pre-need selling, there was a certain amount of pre-need buying a most important distinction , generally by those solid citizens—staid families of substantial means—who were accustomed, in this as in other matters, to planning in advance. I was shocked that an individual, who is sworn to act in the best interest of California, could be so wholly insensitive to the emotional state of bereaved families. When we witness a high-profile funeral on television, it warms our hearts. A funeral is also an occasion when feelings of guilt and remorse are satisfied to a large extent by the purchase of a fine funeral. There is a museum in Chicago containing an exhibit of hatching chicks; the unhatched eggs are in one compartment, those barely chipped in another, next the emerging baby chicks, and finally the fully hatched fledglings. Between these are scores of flat bronze memorial plaques bearing the names of the old residents.

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Jessica Mitford. The American Way of Death Revisited

the american way of death revisited

You can write it off as inapplicable to our present-day conditions. As she reports in her introduction to this volume, we had worked on that book together in the early sixties, and had remained close friends both through a number of other publishing ventures and after our professional relationship came to an end. But its selling methods were hopelessly wrong. I am arranging a funeral, but surely this is no time to indulge in my own preferences in taste and style; I feel I know what she would have preferred, but what will her family and friends expect? This may be lavender, cream, light green. This protection is possible only by acting now.

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The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

the american way of death revisited

None of them took the trouble to ascertain whether their instructions were actually carried out. However, it could have been way more succinct took forever to read as an ebook on my phone and up-to-date. While the information is dated at this point the revisited version is from the mid 1990s, I believe it's still incredibly pertinent. These developments are the main reason for this updated version of The American Way of Death. No provision seems to have been made for the burial of a Heartily Disliked One, although the necessity for such must arise in the course of human events. Prevailing prejudices in the land of the living were at one time mirrored in the land of the dead, and racial segregation as practiced on cemetery land paralleled that which prevailed aboveground. To his annoyance, he began to notice that when the breadwinner of a union family died, the hard-fought-for death benefit, achieved often through bitter struggle and intended for the benefit of the surviving spouse and children, would end up in the pockets of an undertaker.

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The American way of death revisited

the american way of death revisited

Embalming is indeed a most extraordinary procedure, and one must wonder at the docility of Americans who each year pay hundreds of millions of dollars for its perpetuation, blissfully ignorant of what it is all about, what is done, and how it is done. No one owns or controls his own body to the extent that he may dispose of the same in a manner which would bring humiliation and grief to the immediate members of his family. The funeral folk are already looking ahead and have other plans for them. I was educated and enlightened about the practices of that institution and will never look at funerals the same way. Invite them to a staff meeting
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Nonfiction Book Review: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford, Author Knopf Publishing Group $25 (304p) ISBN 978

the american way of death revisited

Sometimes the ashes are scattered over the sea or over the countryside; more often, by a crematory attendant in a Garden of Remembrance, consecrated ground specially set aside for the purpose. It should be updated and reissued each decade for our spiritual health. Preference for cremation varies greatly from region to region. Iserson is a professor of surgery and director of the bioethics program at the Medical School of the University of Arizona. A cream-based cosmetic, available in pink, flesh, suntan, brunette, and blond, is applied to his hands and face, his hair is shampooed and combed and, in the case of Mrs. What familiar establishments also boast such eclecticism of design, from medieval to futuristic, combined with the most minute attention to comfort? Raether, executive secretary of the National Funeral Directors Association to which the great majority of funeral directors belong , and Mr.

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The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

the american way of death revisited

It was one of the first of its kind though when originally published in the 60s so I wanted to be sure to read it. His frame of mind will vary, obviously, according to the circumstances which brought him to the funeral establishment. With the death rate at its present level, he might have to wait a very long time indeed to begin to realize profit on his investment. It is here that all of the previous efforts of the funeral director—his advertising, his living the good life in the community, the impression he has made on the bereaved family during the arrangement conference—will be crowned with success or doomed to failure. The slumber rooms in the same building may stress the light and airy Swedish modern motif. In 1993 the last date for which a state-by-state breakdown is available Mississippi had the lowest cremation rate, 2. A must-read for anyone planning to throw a funeral in their lifetime.

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The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

the american way of death revisited

He was explaining the items that go to make up a total. When first published in 1963 this landmark of investigative journalism became a runaway bestseller and resulted in legislation to protect grieving families from the unscrupulous sales practices of those in the dismal trade. Secondly, there is the myth that the American public is only being given what it wants—an opportunity to keep up with the Joneses to the end. How long will the file be downloaded? There are available to the trade a number of texts devoted to the subject, supplemented by frequent symposiums, seminars, study courses, visual aids, scale-model selection rooms complete with miniature caskets that can be moved around experimentally. I am arranging a funeral, but surely this is no time to indulge my own preferences in taste and style; I feel I know what she would have preferred, but what will her family and friends expect? The problem was that the funeral directors overreacted so badly, the diet became a starvation diet, and they never found the strength, you know, for almost twenty-five years, to find their way out—how to do something for themselves—so I always applaud her. The year was 1917; the place, a run-down, weed-infested cemetery called Forest Lawn. To the far-sighted funeral director, the potential for expanded services and increased profit is unlimited.

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The American way of death revisited

the american way of death revisited

She soon made it clear, however, that the giveaway grave was less than desirable. In fact, the book is almost entirely given over to expounding their point of view. The funeral men foster these misconceptions, sometimes by coolly misstating the law to the funeral buyer and sometimes by inferentially investing with the authority of law certain trade practices which they find it convenient or profitable to follow. Funeral directors feel that by steering the customer to the higher-priced caskets, they are administering the first dose of grief therapy. This free and easy attitude to the law is even to be found in those institutions of higher learning, the colleges of mortuary science, where the fledgling undertaker receives his training. Masking pastes and cosmetics are heavily laid on, burial garments and casket interiors are color-correlated with particular care, and Jones is displayed beneath rose-colored lights. Here is a whole complex of commercial operations that result in funerals whose expense, display and mumbo jumbo are unrelated to any Christian or Jewish tradition and virtually unheard of in any other country today.

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