America's Favorite Holidays: Candid Histories (Paperback)

America's Favorite Holidays: Candid Histories By Bruce David Forbes Cover Image
Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)


America’s Favorite Holidays explores how five of America’s culturally important holidays—Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving—came to be what they are today, seasonal and religious celebrations heavily influenced by modern popular culture. Deftly distilling information from a wide range of sources, Bruce David Forbes reveals often-surprising answers to questions about each holiday’s traditions. Was Christmas always as commercialized as it is today? Is Thanksgiving a religious or secular holiday? When did we begin trick-or-treating on Halloween? Appealing and insightful, America’s Favorite Holidays satisfies our curiosity about the origins of our holidays and the fascinating ways in which religion and culture mix.

About the Author

Bruce David Forbes is Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside College, author of Christmas: A Candid History, and coeditor of Religion and Popular Culture in America.

Praise For…

"After you read all five chapters of 'America’s Favorite Holidays' you will not only be more reflective, you will be poised to win the trivia contest at all of your holiday parties this year and beyond."
— Hilary Levey Friedman

"This slender book, which is adorned with whimsical drawings of Cupid and Santa Claus, is deceptively thought-provoking. Bruce David Forbes, a professor of religious studies, writes in a style that is more confessional than that of the typical academic. . . . He excels in providing entertaining tidbits. . . . The book is presented as light and entertaining, and Forbes readily delivers on this promise."
— Jennifer Jensen Wallach

"This new book by Forbes discusses the particulars of our now widely accepted cultural practices surrounding Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. The nature of folk and cultural traditions is such that we often assume that present-day customs have always been the norm. Forbes presents a genial and ably written corrective to that tendency. . . . This accessible work deserves a wide readership."
— Graham Christian

"This is a delightful book, full of history presented with a gracious and light touch—in other words, a perfect holiday present. . . . Highly recommended."
— CHOICE connect

"America’s Favorite Holidays is an immensely readable book that provides a very engaging history of five widely-celebrated holidays in the United States."
— Samira K. Mehta

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520284722
ISBN-10: 0520284720
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: October 27th, 2015
Pages: 232
Language: English