With keen insight and subtle humor, John F. Kasson explores the history and politics of etiquette from America's colonial times through the nineteenth century. He describes the transformation of our notion of ""gentility,"" once considered a birthright to some, and the development of etiquette as a middle-class response to the new urban and industrial economy and to the excesses of democratic society.
""Kasson adds an important and delightful dimension to our previously narrow understanding of the history of everyday life in the United States. His book offers a wonderful way to trace the relationship between socioeconomic change and cultural norms."" --Michael Kammen, Cornell University