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All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers…
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All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, an… (edició 2022)

de Hayley Campbell (Autor)

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775312,387 (4.09)5
"A deeply compelling exploration of the death industry and the people-morticians, detectives, crime scene cleaners, embalmers, executioners-who work in it and what led them there. We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet from a young age, we are told that death is something to be feared. How are we supposed to know what we're so afraid of, when we are never given the chance to look? Fueled by a childhood fascination with death, journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers in the people who make a living by working with the dead. Along the way, she encounters mass fatality investigators, embalmers, and a former executioner who is responsible for ending sixty-two lives. She meets gravediggers who have already dug their own graves, visits a cryonics facility in Michigan, goes for late-night Chinese with a homicide detective, and questions a man whose job it is to make crime scenes disappear. Through Campbell's incisive and candid interviews with these people who see death every day, she asks: Why would someone choose this kind of life? Does it change you as a person? And are we missing something vital by letting death remain hidden? A dazzling work of cultural criticism, All the Living and the Dead weaves together reportage with memoir, history, and philosophy, to offer readers a fascinating look into the psychology of Western death"--… (més)
Membre:mombot
Títol:All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life's Work
Autors:Hayley Campbell (Autor)
Informació:St. Martin's Press (2022), 288 pages
Col·leccions:Per llegir
Valoració:
Etiquetes:CHPL

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All the Living and the Dead de Hayley Campbell

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Es mostren totes 5
When I was 11 I was obsessed with death and dead bodies; I idolised Scully and considered working as an autopsy technician. So I thought that this book might be interesting - unfortunately it just didn’t hit right for me. I found some parts written in a way that felt disrespectful or for shock value. So I DNFd it at 110 pages.
  spiritedstardust | Dec 29, 2022 |
This was a rather heart wrenching book all about those who deal with the dead (bodies that is—not spirits). The author interviews amazing people who do mind blowing work from death clean ups to baby autopsies to state executioners, and her compassion toward them all is utterly honest and gutting; I cried while listening to much of this (note I’m very close to the anniversary of my own dad’s death). It was beautiful and informative, and it’s going to make me think about all of our times and our afters when we’re no longer there except as bodies. ( )
  spinsterrevival | Dec 28, 2022 |
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: A deeply compelling exploration of the death industry and the people—morticians, detectives, crime scene cleaners, embalmers, executioners—who work in it and what led them there.

We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet from a young age, we are told that death is something to be feared. How are we supposed to know what we’re so afraid of, when we are never given the chance to look?

Fueled by a childhood fascination with death, journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers in the people who make a living by working with the dead. Along the way, she encounters mass fatality investigators, embalmers, and a former executioner who is responsible for ending sixty-two lives. She meets gravediggers who have already dug their own graves, visits a cryonics facility in Michigan, goes for late-night Chinese with a homicide detective, and questions a man whose job it is to make crime scenes disappear.

Through Campbell’s incisive and candid interviews with these people who see death every day, she asks: Why would someone choose this kind of life? Does it change you as a person? And are we missing something vital by letting death remain hidden? A dazzling work of cultural criticism, All the Living and the Dead weaves together reportage with memoir, history, and philosophy, to offer readers a fascinating look into the psychology of Western death.

I RECEIVED A DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU.

My Review
: A book with a truly tragic genesis, the author losing a baby at birth; but it led her to look for her grief to be assuaged in discovering the connective tissue in our society's death industry. She made a terrible tragedy into a very interesting study and came away with the kind of book that many of us read with squeamishness as we're utterly disconnected from death.

No one doesn't think about death, and dying; and, as we've professionalized and medicalized every part of the process, we're going to the bookshelf for our answers. Luckily there are those among us who like learning things and then explaining them. (As long as they're not men, they're lauded for it.) Author Hayley Campbell did a major research project in this book's genesis. It comes across more in the endnotes...they're extensive. I realize I'm very much in the minority here, but I prefer endnotes with spiffy little superscript numbers that, in ebooks, function as hyperlinks; I'm perfectly willing to navigate away from the page when I want to know something's source. But la, the wishes and the wants of one not the author, or the editor, are mere wing-flappings of the tiniest of midges. (I'm waxing lyrical. Send help!) Encountering, for example, the saline hydrocremation process was something I wanted to know more about right then and there...but you can bet your sweet bippy I've bookmarked the UK WIRED Magazine story for future discovery.

A less delightful thing that somewhat tarnished my reading experience, and is the source of the missing half-star on the rating about, was the lived experience of her tragic loss of a baby. It was very, very present in the text. It is a loss second to none in the world for painful permanence. As such it felt, to be honest, overused as a rhetorical device. This is a subjective measure, and I freely acknowledge that a recently bereaved parent might find this inclusion unobtrusive, or positively helpful. I did not.

The other side of that coin, however, was my discovery that there are certain souls, who if there is a god deserve a total and complete remission from their sins, who specialize in bereavement midwifery. How very, very beautiful a soul those people must possess. How vast their reserves of kindness and empathy must be. And how deeply glad I am that they do this job.

Executioners, on the utterly other hand, aren't people I think should be employed. I have this wacky idea that killing people is wrong. Killing them as a profession is not one iota different in my own eyes to being a serial killer. And that, mes vieux, is that. (The executioner interview was interesting, I will admit, but changed my opinion not one jot.)

While I'm sure others might feel triggered at a frank discussion of the process of one's body's cessation of function, it fascinated me. It is a sad truth that most people in today's Western, privileged society have little or nothing to do with their dying fellow beings. They're the ones most in need of this book's honesty. I fear they won't pick it up and I truly advise you, should you be so unfortunate as to face your own mortality in an imminent way, to read and gift this fascinating story of what dealing with death truly entails.

I will always advocate for the "it's better to know than to wonder and fear" end of the information-reading spectrum. Author Hayley makes the process of educating yourself about the aftermath of dying as painless and as compelling as is, for example, one of the mysteries or thrillers that so many of us devour. ( )
  richardderus | Dec 26, 2022 |
Superb nonfiction that will make you examine everything you think about death.

I don't read a lot of nonfiction, but usually find one or two books a year that entice me and I was quite surprised to have found this. The timing is spot on as the world enters a sort of recovery post Covid pandemic and during this period as there are new and looming threats to our health and well-being.

I'm no stranger to death. As an RN for over for over 40 years, I've seen quite enough of it, but honestly never thought too much about what happens after I have cared for the deceased or escorted them to the morgue. I've nursed the dying at work and at home. I've attended far too many funerals and grieved losses. I must say, however, that I never peered behind the curtain or had any conversations with the workers that the author interviewed for this book.

Not sure if this exploration is for everyone, but the stories and the thought-provoking detail will linger in my psyche for a long time. The discussions and research were both fascinating and disturbing though I was left with a larger understanding as I learned about the reasons why some have a calling to do the jobs they do.

A memorable quote: "Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness, the tender mercy of its people, their respect for the law of the land and their loyalty to high ideals." William Gladstone (1809-1898)

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this e-book to read, review, and recommend. ( )
  CelticLibrarian | Aug 17, 2022 |
Fascinating!
A study in our Western responses to death as well as all of the disciplines who value the cadaver as a tool to help the living and/or determine findings about the untimely dead. There are a number of books dedicated to the corpse, but this is unique among them as it focuses on our reactions to death and its ancillary businesses as well as how their jobs have impacted those who work with the dead.
I requested and received a free e-book copy from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. Thank you! ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jul 20, 2022 |
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"A deeply compelling exploration of the death industry and the people-morticians, detectives, crime scene cleaners, embalmers, executioners-who work in it and what led them there. We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet from a young age, we are told that death is something to be feared. How are we supposed to know what we're so afraid of, when we are never given the chance to look? Fueled by a childhood fascination with death, journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers in the people who make a living by working with the dead. Along the way, she encounters mass fatality investigators, embalmers, and a former executioner who is responsible for ending sixty-two lives. She meets gravediggers who have already dug their own graves, visits a cryonics facility in Michigan, goes for late-night Chinese with a homicide detective, and questions a man whose job it is to make crime scenes disappear. Through Campbell's incisive and candid interviews with these people who see death every day, she asks: Why would someone choose this kind of life? Does it change you as a person? And are we missing something vital by letting death remain hidden? A dazzling work of cultural criticism, All the Living and the Dead weaves together reportage with memoir, history, and philosophy, to offer readers a fascinating look into the psychology of Western death"--

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