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The Mansion of Happiness
This work is a strikingly original, ingeniously conceived, and beautifully crafted history of American ideas about life and death from before the cradle to beyond the grave. Investigating the surprising origins of the stuff of everyday life—from board games to breast pumps—Lepore argues that the age of discovery, Darwin, and the Space Age turned ideas about life on earth topsy-turvy. As much a meditation on the present as an excavation of the past, The Mansion of Happiness is delightful, learned, and altogether beguiling.
By Jill Lepore. Published by Vintage Books, 2013. 320 pages, hardcover.