Dancing In The Streets | Granta

  • Published: 05/05/2008
  • ISBN: 9781847080080
  • 129x20mm
  • 336 pages

Dancing In The Streets

Barbara Ehrenreich

In Dancing in the Streets Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture. She discovers that the same elements come up in every human culture throughout history: a love of masking, carnival, music-making and dance. Although sixteenth-century Europeans began to view mass festivities as foreign and ‘savage’, Ehrenreich shows that they were indigenous to the West, from the ancient Greek’s worship of Dionysus to the medieval practices of Christianity as a ‘danced religion’. Exhilarating in its scholarly range, humane, witty and impassioned, Dancing in the Streets will generate debate and soul-searching.

Witty and quizzical ... Her lightness of touch is commendable

Simon Callow, Guardian

Dancing in the Streets is a genuine triumph of popular critical scholarship - the punchy elegance of her prose makes this an essential purchase


A sparkling history of mass festivity, from Dionysian cults through ecstatic slave rites to rock'n'roll, it also, in sober vein, records its suppression and containment by disquieted elites and concludes with meditations on some deep-seated troubles of our own age

Gareth Dale, Times Higher Education Supplement

The Author

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of fifteen books, including the bestselling Smile or Die and Nickel and Dimed. She has written for Time, Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine and various British newspapers including The Times and the Guardian. She lives in Virginia, USA.

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Typing Practice

Barbara Ehrenreich

‘I didn’t start my journal with the idea of recording my progress toward the ultimate truth.’