Skip Navigation
NPR News
Author Barbara Ehrenreich ()

An Academic View on the Right to Party

Jan 10, 2007 (Talk of the Nation)

See this


Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this

From ancient Greek Bacchanalias and Roman Saturnalias to tailgating and Mardi Gras, we humans like to party. Throughout history, public revelry has had its critics. The Victorian world saw it as vulgar pageantry, the stuff of "savages" and the underclass. The academic world, for the most part, ignored it.

Author and activist Barbara Ehrenreich talks about her new book Dancing in the Streets, in which she gives a history lesson on collective joy and explains why humanity engages in large, ceremonial celebrations and why the upper classes have tried — and often still try — to suppress it.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Read full story transcript

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.