This is a very well balanced study covering all possible sources of homesickness and range of feelings ... this book is loaded with raw and intense expressions of emotion seldom uncovered, and the context of each group explaining the range of feeling is well documented. (Gary Cross, Journal of Social History)
Future writers, historical and otherwise, might be well served to use the vivid portrait Matt provides to identify the substance of this perpetual pain and imagine by what logics it may ever be overcome. (Kathryn Lofton, Journal of American History)
About the Author
Susan J. Matt is Presidential Distinguished Professor of History at Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah. She is the author of Keeping Up with the Joneses: Envy in American Consumer Society, 1890-1930.
This is a book about "a nation of immigrants" and what they really felt about all they left behind. Homesickness for places - and for times that are gone. The world is changing so fast now - perhaps we're all a little homesick even if we haven't budged an inch. It's nice to connect with those who came before us - and who felt the same things.
The experiences Susan Matt uncovers in this book are universal - Political and economic changes in the past thirty years have changed patterns of geographic movement for millions of Europeans - small Welsh communities are now half Polish - It's a multicultural world.
Don't let the title mislead you.. The subject is "Homesickness: An American History" but the story is bigger than that. That it feels so much like everybody's story is a tribute to the writer and her sensitive research.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Things I should have guessed but never knew!11 Oct 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This heavily researched and footnoted book is a really interesting eye opening read. Anyone who is interested in genealogy, history, or the history of emotional/mental/physical illnesses will find a new perspective here. Nostalgia and homesickness, words coined in the colonial period, were once considered real and possibly fatal illnesses. From the Puritans through the slave trade, Trail of Tears and Mexican immigration, Susan Matt traces a real disease worthy of discharge from the Civil War to our modern feeling that children need to get over it and grow up. If you were sent to summer camp to help you do just that and were homesick even for a day, you will identify with all the people in the book.
History of Emotions24 Jun 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
I enjoyed the glimpse into the history of movement and nostalgia. The idea of the huddled masses moving to the states and never looking back has been publicized for generations, even though, there is a deeper history of people missing their homeland or neighborhood. This book is good for anyone who has moved to a new city, community, or country and needs the reassurance that others have been in the same situation and survived.