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 publication World), "ambitious" (The Wall road 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 social gathering 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 primary to the Western culture. In contemporary centuries, this festive culture has been repressed, cruelly and sometimes bloodily. yet as Ehrenreich argues during this unique, exhilarating, and eventually positive publication, the celebratory impulse is simply too deeply ingrained in human nature ever to be thoroughly extinguished.

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