Sunday by Craig Harline
A History of the First Day from Babylonia to the Super Bowl

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The mere mention of Sunday will immediately conjure up a rich mixture of memories, associations and ideas for anyone of any age. Whatever we think of Sunday, it occupies a unique place in Western civilization. But how did we come to have a day with such a singular set of traditions? Here, historian Craig Harline examines Sunday from its ancient beginnings to contemporary America in a fascinating blend of stories and analysis. For early Christians, the first day of the week was a time to celebrate the liturgy and observe the Resurrection. But over time, Sunday in the Western world took on other meanings and rituals, especially with the addition of both rest and recreation to the day's activities. Harline illuminates these changes in enlightening profiles of Sunday in medieval Catholic England, Sunday in the Reformation, and Sunday in nineteenth-century France - home of the most envied and sometimes despised Sunday traditions of the modern world. He continues with moving portraits of soldiers and civilians trying to observe Sunday during World War I, examines the quiet Sunday of England in the 1930s, and concludes with the convergence of various European traditions in the American Sunday, which also adds some distinctly original habits of its own, in the realms of commerce and professional sports. With engaging prose and scholarly integrity, "Sunday" is an entertaining and long-overdue look at a significant hallmark of Western culture

About Craig Harline

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CRAIG HARLINE, a professor of history at Brigham Young University, is the author of" A Bishop's Tale,"" The Burdens of Sister Margaret," and" Miracles at the Jesus Oak," His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, and other granting agencies. He lives in Orem, Utah.
Published September 13, 2011 by Yale University Press. 471 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Rather than attempting a sweeping and methodically exhaustive approach, Harline investigates the topic episodically, portraying, for example, a medieval English Sunday in one chapter, a decadent fin-de-siècle Parisian Sunday in another, and a 1950s American Sunday in the last and longest chapter.

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USA Today

He deals with the rise and fall of Puritan-inspired Blue Laws, so called either because of the blue paper they were first printed on, or because blue characterized their sober tone, which banned various forms of commerce on Sunday.

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Deseret News

It may seem appropriate to some Utahns that a history of "Sunday" is written by a Brigham Young University history professor — but it is even more noteworthy that it is published under a prestigious national imprint.

Mar 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Sunday: A History of the Firs...

Englewood Review of Books

Cultural activities like Sunday promenades, Sunday football, Sunday naps, Sunday papers, etc.

Nov 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Sunday: A History of the Firs...

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