The Mansion of Happiness

A History of Life and Death

by Jill Lepore

The Mansion of Happiness

Hardcover, 282 pages, Random House Inc, List Price: $27.95 | purchase

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Book Summary

A history of American ideas about life and death includes coverage of topics ranging from the 17th-century Englishman who investigated a belief about life starting with eggs and the heated debates over Darwin's evolutionary findings to the role of the Space Age in changing views on planetary life to the 1970s trends in cryogenics. 35,000 first printing.

NPR stories about The Mansion of Happiness

Critics' Lists: Summer 2012

Book Party For One: A Loner's Summer Survival Guide

Cryonic freezers are where Jill Lepore's new book, The Mansion of Happiness, comes to a dead halt. Lepore, who is an historian at Harvard and a staff writer at The New Yorker (where parts of this book already appeared) has written an off-beat history of American ideas about life and death. Lepore's title, The Mansion of Happiness, derives from an early 19th-century board game that piously represented life as a voyage whose end was a return to Heaven. By the time

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