Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Thought-provoking work titled: “From Cherubs to Cryonics: The Mindset List® of American Death and Remembrance”

Jun 10, 2014 - EVANSTON, Ill. (June 10, 2014) – For the past 15 years, the annual Beloit College Mindset List® has been an internationally anticipated, witty and informative way to understand what has always been considered “normal” for an entering college class. “From Cherubs to Cryonics: The Mindset List® of American Death and Remembrance,” is a comprehensive list that tackles the evolution of how death and remembrance have been viewed in America since 1750. The authors even speculate how death will be perceived in 2100.

By presenting what has “always” or “never” been true for a particular generation, “From Cherubs to Cryonics: The Mindset List® of American Death and Remembrance” reminds us that previous generations could not imagine the longevity we enjoy today or that condolences would be written on a computer, cellphone or tablet. To trace the history of American death and remembrance is to pursue questions about shifting cultures, evolving medical technology and completely different day-to-day experiences – creating diverse “mindsets” among generations of Americans about what is considered “normal.”

Cremation, online condolences and rock songs at a funeral? It hasn't always been that way. The way we think about death and memorialization has changed drastically since the first American patriots died for their country. For example:

  • For those born between 1750 and 1800, average life expectancy has always been about 36 years.
  • For those born between 1850 and 1900, American newspapers avoid the subject of sex, but trumpet the macabre details of death.
  • For those who were born around 2000 and expected to live well into the new century, asking to be buried with workable mobile phones is not uncommon.

“From Cherubs to Cryonics: The Mindset List® of American Death and Remembrance” is divided into 50-year periods starting in 1750 and ending around the year 2100. It is published in its entirety at www.legacy.com/life-and-death/.

Founded in 1998, Legacy.com collaborates with more than 1,500 newspapers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Europe to provide ways for readers to express condolences and share remembrances of loved ones. As the leader in the online memorial and obituary market, Legacy.com draws more than 25 million unique visitors each month, making it one of the 50 most-visited websites in the U.S. In addition to hosting more than 20 million obituaries, Legacy.com also provides newspapers with online solutions for their celebration, pet and public notice categories. For more information, visit www.legacy.com.


Tom McBride is Professor of English Emeritus at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. Ron Nief is Director Emeritus of Public Affairs at Beloit College. Information about the Mindset Lists and their books, The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think Is Normal, and The Mindset List of the Obscure: 74 Famously Forgotten American Icons from A to Z coming Sept. 1, and copies of the annual lists can be found by visiting www.beloit.edu/mindset and www.themindsetlist.com.