The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History by David Charles Sloane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Any collection of cemetery books MUST include this one. This is the history of American graveyards pulled together into one readable, fascinating package. If you’ve wondered how cemeteries in America morphed from Boston’s Mount Auburn (one of the loveliest graveyards in the world) to Forest Lawn’s miles of flat bronze markers, this will answer your question in vivid detail.
The book suffers from a lack of illustrations, which makes it look uncomfortably like a textbook, but believe me, one you delve into these pages, you will learn while being entertained. In fact, the book reads much like a guidebook, leading you to yearn to visit these graveyards in order to see the historical remnants for yourself. This would be the perfect gift for that friend who devours history and can be counted on to dole out intriguing tidbits while the two of you stroll your local graveyard.
New copies are very expensive, but you can find used copies on Amazon: The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History (Creating the North American Landscape).
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