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Dimensions:
216 × 138 mm
256 pages
Format:
Hardback
ISBN:
9781780236636
Published:
08 Aug 2016

Everyday Life How the Ordinary Became Extraordinary Joseph A. Amato

In Everyday Life Joseph A. Amato offers a panoramic account of the evolution of our daily existence and reflects on the complex and changing textures of everyday life. Beginning with societies of scarcity and relative lack of change and ending with our own twenty-first-century lives, he ranges widely through topics as varied as dirt and muck, walking and the charm of spices, and through time from early agriculture to mechanization and the modern urban existence.

Amato argues that what seems to be ordinary is in fact extraordinary, and shows how life, even in the very recent past, differed from life in our present-day societies of abundance and of remorseless change. The result is a challenging and thought-provoking introduction to change and continuity in daily life.

‘Amato offers a bold historical account of daily existence across the ages. Beginning with societies of scarcity and ending with our own twenty-first-century lives, he ranges widely through topics as varied as walking and the charm of spices, and through time from early agriculture to mechanization and the modern urban existence . . . [a] challenging and thought-provoking introduction to change and continuity in daily life.’ – Bulletin of the Social History Society

‘Joseph A. Amato makes a compelling case for exploring the complex history of everyday life. Drawing on an amazingly broad range of historical, cultural, anthropological, and literary sources, Amato pays keen attention to the interplay of place, landscape, and "things" on human experience and imagination. Like his previous books Everyday Life richly rewards the reader. It is a unique, reflective, and provocative essay that honors the richness of human life in all its variety.’ – Donald Yerxa, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Nazarene College

‘This book combines impressively wide reading with a sense of how life was and is composed. Amato ranges widely through topics as varied as dirt and muck, walking, the charm of spices and through time periods from early agriculture to mechanization. The result is a thought-provoking introduction to change and continuity in daily life.’ – Peter Stearns, Emeritus Professor of History, George Mason University

‘In Everyday Life Joseph A. Amato reflects on the complex and changing textures of everyday life, beginning with societies of scarcity and relative lack of change and ending with Amato’s own American life of the 20th and 21st centuries. A work of wide-ranging erudition, it nonetheless offers food for reflection to the everyday reader today, for it lays out how life – even in the very recent past – differed from life in present-day societies of abundance and of seemingly unstoppable change.’ – Allan Megill, Professor of History, University of Virginia


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Joseph A. Amato is Emeritus Professor of History and Rural and Regional Studies at Southwest Minnesota State University. He is the author of many cultural and intellectual studies, as well as works of local and regional history including Dust: A History of the Small and Invisible (2000), On Foot: A History of Walking (2004) and Surfaces, A History (2013).