The Hour of Our Death

By Philippe Aries,

Book cover of The Hour of Our Death: The Classic History of Western Attitudes Toward Death Over the Last One Thousand Years

Book description

An “absolutely magnificent” book (The New Republic)—the fruit of almost two decades of study—that traces the changes in Western attitudes toward death and dying from the earliest Christian times to the present day.

A truly landmark study, The Hour of Our Death reveals a pattern of gradually developing evolutionary stages…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Hour of Our Death as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Modern medicine has dramatically extended life expectancies. But as our life spans extend, our fear of death grows. As our hope of living a long life and seeing our children survive grew, we became more rather than less anxious about losing out. We might have expected the opposite. Aries vividly illustrates how people viewed death as a part of life before the nineteenth century and how they reconciled themselves to it. He picks out 1886 as the point where Tolstoy in The Death of Ivan Illych recognized that medical advances were creating anxiety rather than hope. This book may make…

From David's list on how medicine should be.

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