Book Review: 'The American Way of Death Revisited'
In this excellent update of her classic 1963 exposé of the funeral biz, muckraker Mitford — who revised the book before she died in 1996 — left no headstone unturned. Her centerpiece remains an indictment of embalming and lavish open-casket funerals, costly practices common only in North America. New chapters chart recent surges in funeral-industry monopolies, price-gouged pay-in-advance graves (or, in hilarious mortuary euphemism, ”pre-need memorial estates”), and nonprofit funeral services. Mitford’s sparkling gallows humor leavens this gloomiest of subjects, while her revealing interviews allow unscrupulous funeral-industry honchos to dig, as it were, their own graves. A
The American Way of Death Revisited