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 Greeks' 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.
Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of fourteen books, including the bestselling Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. She lives in New York State.