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Purified by Fire – A History of Cremation in America - California Scholarship Online
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Purified by Fire: A History of Cremation in America

Stephen Prothero


Just one hundred years ago, Americans almost universally condemned cremation. Today, nearly one-quarter of Americans choose to be cremated. The practice has gained wide acceptance as a funeral rite, in both our private and public lives, as the cremations of icons such as John Lennon and John F. Kennedy Jr. show. This book tells the story of cremation's rise from notoriety to legitimacy and takes a provocative new look at important transformations in the American cultural landscape over the last 150 years. The book synthesizes a wide array of previously untapped source material, including newsp ... More

Keywords: cremation, funeral rite, icons, John Lennon, John F Kennedy Jr, notoriety, legitimacy, Jerry Garcia, public health

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780520208162
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520208162.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen Prothero, author

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