Friday, July 5, 2013

Book: Digging Up the Dead by Michael Kammen

Kammen, Michael. 2010. Digging Up the Dead: A History of Notable American Reburials. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

This bit of academic fluff is great fun indeed. I picked it up at Shakespeare and Company in Paris and got through it pretty quickly. While the author goes to some effort to find commonalities and themes, and indeed there are some to be found, most of the pleasure here is just looking at the past through the unusual lens of exhumations and reburials. People in the distant past (and even some people in the not so distant past) have worried a great deal (and for a variety of reasons) about the locations of particular bones, and reading about their obsessions makes for entertaining and enlightening reading. Oh, and in spite of the title, some notable international reburials are covered as well.


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