1st Edition

The Routledge History of Death since 1800

Edited By Peter N. Stearns Copyright 2021
    568 Pages
    by Routledge

    568 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Routledge History of Death Since 1800 looks at how death has been treated and dealt with in modern history – the history of the past 250 years – in a global context, through a mix of definite, often quantifiable changes and a complex, qualitative assessment of the subject.

    The book is divided into three parts, with the first considering major trends in death history and identifying widespread patterns of change and continuity in the material and cultural features of death since 1800. The second part turns to specifically regional experiences, and the third offers more specialized chapters on key topics in the modern history of death. Historical findings and debates feed directly into a current and prospective assessment of death, as many societies transition into patterns of ageing that will further alter the death experience and challenge modern reactions. Thus, a final chapter probes this topic, by way of introducing the links between historical experience and current trajectories, ensuring that the book gives the reader a framework for assessing the ongoing process, as well as an understanding of the past.

    Global in focus and linking death to a variety of major developments in modern global history, the volume is ideal for all those interested in the multifaceted history of how death is dealt with in different societies over time and who want access to the rich and growing historiography on the subject.

    Chapter 1 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. 

    Part 1: General Patterns and Connections

    1. Patterns Of Death, 1800-2020: Global Rates And Causes

    Romola Davenport

    2. Mass Death During Modern Epidemics: Horrors and Their Consequences

    Samuel Cohn

    3. Violent Death

    Philip Dwyer

    4. Suicidology on the Cusp of Modernity: Sociology and Psychiatry in the 19th Century

    David Lederer

    5. Death-Seeking Turns Political:  A Historical Template For Terrorism

    Anna Geifman

    6. Toward a World Without the Death Penalty

    Jon Yorke and Alice Storey

    7. The Cemetery

    Erin-Marie Legacey

    8. Death, Commemoration, and the Era Of Total War In Europe

    Jesse Kauffman

    9. The Transformation of Death Discourse: From ‘Taboo’ to ‘Revival’ at the Threshold of the New Millennium

    Michael Hviid Jacobsen

    Part 2: Regional Patterns

    10. “Why may not man be one day immortal?”: Rethinking Death in the Age of Enlightenment

    Joseph Clarke

    11. "Now for the Grand Secret:" A History of the Post-Mortem Identity and Heavenly Reunions, 1800-2000

    John C. Weaver and Doug Munro

    12. Death in Modern North American History

    Peter N. Stearns

    13. Death In Mexico: Image And Reality

    Stanley Brandes

    14. Death in Modern Japan (1800—2020)

    Timothy Benedict

    15. Picturing the Dead in Early Twentieth-Century China: Bodies, Burial, and the Photography of the Chinese Red Cross Burial Corps

    Caroline Reeves

    16. Remaking the Hindu Pyre: Cremation in India since the 1830s

    David Arnold

    17. Muslim Beliefs About Death; From Classical Formulations To Modern Applications

    Abdulaziz Sachedina

    18. Death in Africa: A History c.1800 to Present Day

    Rebekah Lee and Megan Vaughan

    19. Rituals Of Death In The Caribbean Diaspora, 1970-: The Immigrant Dilemmas

    Garrey Michael Dennie

    Part 3: Special Topics

    20. Premature Burial and the Mysteries of Death

    Joanna Bourke

    21. Murdering Mothers and Dutiful Daughters: Infanticide in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Mexico

    Nora E. Jaffary

    22. ‘I wish we could have saved him for you’: Australia’s experience of death and bereavement in war, 1914-1918

    Jen Roberts

    23. Soviet Cemeteries

    Svetlana Malysheva

    24. Death in Modern Film

    Thomas Britt

    25. Of Presidential Mausoleums and Politics in Neo-Liberal Zambia, 2008 to 2018

    Walima T. Kalusa and Kelvin Chanda

    26. Celebrating Creation and Commemorating Life: Ritualizing Pet Death in the U.S. and Japan

    Barbara R. Ambros

    27. Hospice: A Way to Die

    Lucy Bregman

    28. “A Profound Shift In Policy”: The History Of Assisted Suicide

    Ian Dowbiggin

    29. Conclusion: Future Trajectories of Death: Speculations and Raising Questions

    Cortney Hughes Rinker


    Peter N. Stearns is University Professor of History at George Mason University, USA.