Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Holiday Book in Review: Halloween

Halloween An American Holiday, An American History By: Lesley Pratt Bannatyne
Non-Fiction: holidays, history, religion 158 pages
Book Count: 90

This book deals with the history of Halloween in America. It does start off with a short history of how the holiday started out including Samhain, Pomona and early Christianization of the day. Then it deals with the holiday in America from colonial times up until the 1980's. (The book was published in 1990.) Unlike other things on this subject it deals both with how the holiday changed in time and how it was celebrated by people from different countries (including not only the Irish, Scottish, British and Mexicans but also African Americans, Germans, Swedes, Dutch and others) and in different areas of the country (even braking it down by each of the original colonies.) The one thing that would make this book better is if it was newer so it could deal with more current ways of celebrating the holiday. It does have a couple of paragraphs about the rise of Neo-Paganism, but no where as much information on different ways that they may celebrate the holiday as newer sources have. Also it just touches on the rise of adult Halloween parties, dressing up, etc. Besides the age of the book (with the lack of newer information that can be easily found in other places) this book is the most in dept book on the subject that I have ever read. And it is also a quick and easy read, but it does include notes, a bibliography and other information that you would expect in a more scholarly work.

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