The Reshaping of Everyday Life

The Reshaping of Everyday Life - Samantha Schwartz April...

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Samantha Schwartz April 10 , 2008 History 156 Rebecca O’Connor The Reshaping of Everyday Life In Jack Larkins' book "The Reshaping of Everyday Life" , the author shows the intimate details of everyday life that defined what people were really like . Through out the book he shares stories of regular , everyday people and gives you situations that you would never be able to find in a textbook . The most important part of Larkins’ book is his thesis , which shows how the details of everyday life are just as important in shaping American history , as the wars and the politics that we learn about in our textbooks. Using the everyday lives of various individuals , Larkin proved that their experiences affected history . One of the major things that I noticed while reading Larkins’ book was that unlike in a history textbook , not everything across the United States was the same. Most of the examples that Larkin used differed in the different states . Not all of the examples were the same across the country , causing the history in each of these states to be different from one another . Most of the examples were a part of one states everyday life and did not even affect the others’ . To me, this was a complete variation from the textbook because when you find out information from the textbook , it always shows how it affected the whole country not just one particular state .
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During this time period , the food supply was very different across the country. There were the two main constants , corn and pork. Throughout America one of these two foods were on the dinner table roughly every night , but there were also the foods that were only on the dinner tables in New York or in Maryland . “Families in the cattle- raising , dairying country of New England, New York and northern Ohio ate butter, cheese and salted beef” (Larkin 171) . 1 Because of their location and the farming that these people do , the food income that was familiar to them was of what they farmed. “In Pennsylvania , as well as, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, Americans ate the same breadstuffs as their Northern neighbors , but their consumption of cheese and beef declined every mile southward in favor of pork” (Larkin 171) . 2
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The Reshaping of Everyday Life - Samantha Schwartz April...

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