Book cover of The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains by Thomas Laqueurby Thomas Laqueur

The meaning of our concern for mortal remains―from antiquity through the twentieth century

The Greek philosopher Diogenes said that when he died his body should be tossed over the city walls for beasts to scavenge. Why should he or anyone else care what became of his corpse? In The Work of the Dead, acclaimed cultural historian Thomas Laqueur examines why humanity has universally rejected Diogenes’s argument. No culture has been indifferent to mortal remains. Even in our supposedly disenchanted scientific age, the dead body still matters―for individuals, communities, and nations. A remarkably ambitious history, The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for The Hedgehog & The FoxThe Hedgehog and the Fox 
Thomas Laqueur on the work of the dead
7/12/18        37 min

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.