Becker, Ernest. The Denial of Death. 1973. Reprint. New York: Free Press, 1997. A strong book on the power of death both for the individual and within a culture. Written, to a large extent, from a psychoanalytic standpoint. Not easy to read without some background in psychology or anthropology.
Cohen-Almagor, Raphael. The Right to Die with Dignity: An Argument in Ethics, Medicine, and the Law. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2001. An even-handed overview of the controversies surrounding physician-assisted suicide and the right to choose death in the face of terminal illness. Feifel, Herman, ed. The Meaning of Death. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965. One of the original books which stimulated interest in death and dying. Contains essays by writers such as Carl Jung, Paul Tillich, and Robert Kastenbaum, as well as articles reporting empirical studies. Generally reads well and contains myriad interesting and thoughtful ideas. Kastenbaum, Robert. Death, Society, and Human Experience. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. A textbook for classes on the sociology of death and dying, bringing together perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, and psychology.
Kessler, David. The Needs of the Dying: A Guide for Bringing Hope, Comfort, and Love to Life's Final Chapter: New York: HarperCollins, 2000. Written by a leader in hospice care. Explains the common emotions and psychology of the dying and offers suggestions for dealing with death.
Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying. 1969. Reprint. New York: Scrib-ner Classics Sons, 1997. A popular book which had a major impact on the general public. It reads well and is not only interesting but also of practical help to many who are dealing with the issue of dying.
Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death. 1963. Reprint. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1978. A polemical look at the funeral business. This book made many Americans aware of excesses and shoddy practices, which eventually led to a number of changes—some because of government regulation. Quite one-sided.
_. The American Way of Death Revisited. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
1998. Mitford's follow-up to her 1963 classic traces changes in the funeral industry over the intervening thirty-odd years. Ironically, a posthumous publication.
Tomer, Adrian, ed. Death Attitude and Older Adults. New York: Brunner/ Mazel, 2001. A collection of essays studying current practice in dealing with death from the perspectives of gerontology, thanatology, and general psychology.
James Taylor Henderson
See also: Emotions; Stress-Related Diseases; Suicide.
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