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Rain: A Natural and Cultural History

Rain is elemental mysterious precious destructive br br It is the subject of countless poems and paintings the top of the weather report the source of the world s water Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain br br Cynthia Barnett s i Rain i begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans and builds to the storms of climate change It weaves together science the true shape of a raindrop the mysteries of frog and fish rains with the human story of our ambition to control rain from ancient rain dances to the miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River i i It offers a glimpse of our founding forecaster Thomas Jefferson who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology Two centuries later rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey s mopes and Kurt Cobain s grunge i Rain i is also a travelogue taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat and to India where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon drenched earth and turn it into perfume br br Now after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war humanity has finally managed to change the rain Only not in ways we intended As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world Too much and not nearly enough rain is a conversation we share and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it


Dracula: Illustrated with Photographs of Settings, Cultural Artifacts, and Vampires

This telling of the story of Dracula is enhanced with photographs of important locations annotated old maps and cultural artifacts In addition the book includes images of Dracula female vampires wolves etc br br I first read Dracula as a young teenager I remember it was Saturday afternoon and both my parents and my sister were out of the house The wind was making the branches scratch against my window just like the bats in the novel and the old house creaked To preserve my dignity let s not say that I was afraid let s just say that I was apprehensive br br Recently I decided to read the book again As I read I had difficulty visualizing some of the locales and cultural artifacts that the characters mentioned What do the Carpathian Mountains look like near dusk Is there really an English town called Whitby with a ruined abbey What did the harbor look like What is a Kukri knife br br Accordingly I have researched and inserted into this version of Dracula many photographs of important locations annotated old maps and cultural artifacts I also considered it worthwhile to insert images of Dracula female vampires wolves etc to add a bit of color to the text br br Furthermore I was disappointed that there were many historical geographic and cultural references in the text that were lost on me As I researched these I found that they enhanced my appreciation the story For that reason I have added appropriate hyperlinks that you can ignore or investigate if you are so inclined br br Dracula is in the public domain which means that the copyright has expired Anyone can download the text from several websites Consequently the text in this book is pretty much the same as the text you will find in other versions of Dracula I say pretty much because I have taken the liberty to correct spelling errors change a few confusing pronouns to the actual names of the characters who are speaking and break apart long and confusing paragraphs with multiple speakers br br I had a lot of fun enhancing my appreciation of this book We hope you enjoy it as well br br Daniel D Ferry Editor br


Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

i Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism i is a book by Fredric Jameson offering a critique of modernism and postmodernism from a Marxist perspective The book began as a article in the i New Left Review i br br Fredric Jameson s most wide ranging work seeks to crystalize a definition of postmodernism Jameson s inquiry looks at the postmodern across a wide landscape from high art to low art from market ideology to architecture from painting to punk film and from video art to literature


Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia

History on a grand scale an enchanting masterpiece that explores the making of one of the world s most vibrant civilizations br br A People s Tragedy wrote Eric Hobsbawm did more to help us understand the Russian Revolution than any other book I know Now in Natasha s Dance internationally renowned historian Orlando Figes does the same for Russian culture summoning the myriad elements that formed a nation and held it together br br Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St Petersburg a window on the West and culminating with the challenges posed to Russian identity by the Soviet regime Figes examines how writers artists and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself its character spiritual essence and destiny He skillfully interweaves the great works by Dostoevsky Stravinsky and Chagall with folk embroidery peasant songs religious icons and all the customs of daily life from food and drink to bathing habits to beliefs about the spirit world Figes s characters range high and low the revered Tolstoy who left his deathbed to search for the Kingdom of God as well as the serf girl Praskovya who became Russian opera s first superstar and shocked society by becoming her owner s wife br br Like the European schooled countess Natasha performing an impromptu folk dance in Tolstoy s War and Peace the spirit of Russianness is revealed by Figes as rich and uplifting complex and contradictory a powerful force that unified a vast country and proved more lasting than any Russian ruler or state


Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus

An engrossing lively history of a fearsome and misunderstood virus that binds man and dog The most fatal virus known to science rabies a disease that spreads avidly from animals to humans kills nearly one hundred percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain In this critically acclaimed exploration journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years of the history science and cultural mythology of rabies From Greek myths to zombie flicks from the laboratory heroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment i Rabid i is a fresh and often wildly entertaining look at one of humankind s oldest and most fearsome foes


Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation

div div p In this hip hilarious and truly eye opening cultural history menstruation is talked about as never before i Flow i i i spans its fascinating occasionally wacky and sometimes downright scary story from i mikvahs i ritual cleansing baths to menopause hysteria to hysterectomies not to mention the Pill cramps the history of underwear and the movie about puberty they showed you in th grade p p i Flow i answers such questions as What s the i point i of getting a period What did women do before pads and tampons What about new drugs that promise to end periods a hot idea or not Sex during your period gross or a turn on And what s i normal i anyway With color reproductions of campy historical ads and early excruciating femcare devices it also provides a fascinating and mind boggling gallery of this complex personal and uniquely female process p p As irreverent as it is informative i Flow i gives an everyday occurrence its true props and eradicates the stigma placed on it for centuries p div div


Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

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Candide (Bedford Cultural Editions Series)

This new edition of Candide by Voltaire with Related Documents continues to preserve the provocative nature of Voltaire s portrayal of eighteenth century European society while placing the work and its author in historical context Daniel Gordon s translation enhances Candide s readability and highlights the text s wit and satire for twenty first century readers The revised introduction provides insight into Voltaire s views on slavery showing students how the complexities of Voltaire s life relate to the events philosophy and characters of Candide An expanded Related Documents section further reveals Voltaire s relation to slavery with new extracts from The Black Code and Voltaire s own work on the subject Helpful editorial features include explanatory notes throughout the text a chronology of Voltaire s life questions for consideration and a selected bibliography


From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present

Highly regarded here and abroad for some thirty works of cultural history and criticism master historian Jacques Barzun has now set down in one continuous narrative the sum of his discoveries and conclusions about the whole of Western culture since br br In this account Barzun describes what Western Man wrought from the Renaisance and Reformation down to the present in the double light of its own time and our pressing concerns He introduces characters and incidents with his unusual literary style and grace bringing to the fore those that have Puritans as Democrats The Monarch s Revolution The Artist Prophet and Jester show the recurrent role of great themes throughout the eras br br The triumphs and defeats of five hundred years form an inspiring saga that modifies the current impression of one long tale of oppression by white European males Women and their deeds are prominent and freedom even in sexual matters is not an invention of the last decades And when Barzun rates the present not as a culmination but a decline he is in no way a prophet of doom Instead he shows decadence as the creative novelty that will burst forth tomorrow or the next day br br Only after a lifetime of separate studies covering a broad territory could a writer create with such ease the synthesis displayed in this magnificent volume


A Room With A View By E. M. Forster (World Cultural Heritage Library)

b But you do he went on not waiting for contradiction You love the boy body and soul plainly directly as he loves you and no other word expresses it b br br Lucy has her rigid middle class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish the Cockney Signora curious Mr Emerson and most of all his passionate son George br br Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England personified in her terminally dull fianc Cecil Vyse Will she ever learn to follow her own heart


Julius Caesar, a Longman Cultural Edition

Handsomely produced and affordably priced i Julius Caesar A i i Longman Cultural Edition i presents this classic work in provocative and illuminating contexts cultural critical and literary


The Merchant of Venice (A Longman Cultural Edition)

From Longman s Cultural Editions Series Lawrence Danson presents William Shakespeare s i The Merchant of Venice i in several illuminating contexts cultural historical and critical Featuring illustrations a table of dates and performance reviews the text provides historical sources as well as numerous documents that reveal the cultural context in which i The Merchant of Venice i was written


The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change

A great deal has been written on what has variously been described as the postmodern condition and on postmodern culture architecture art and society In this new book David Harvey seeks to determine what is meant by the term in its different contexts and to identify how accurate and useful it is as a description of contemporary experience br br But the book is much more than this in the course of his investigation the author provides a social and semantic history from the Enlightenment to the present of modernism and its expression in political and social ideas and movements as well as in art literature and architecture He considers in particular how meaning and perception of time and space themselves vary over time and space and shows that this variance affects individual values and social processes of the most fundamental kind br br This book will be widely welcomed not only for its clear and critical account of the arguments surrounding the propositions of modernity and postmodernity but as an incisive contribution to the history of ideas and their relation to social and political change


Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation

Malls stadiums and universities are actually liturgical structures that influence and shape our thoughts and affections Humans as Augustine noted are desiring agents full of longings and passions in brief we are what we love br br James K A Smith focuses on the themes of liturgy and desire in Desiring the Kingdom the first book in what will be a three volume set on the theology of culture He redirects our yearnings to focus on the greatest good God Ultimately Smith seeks to re vision education through the process and practice of worship Students of philosophy theology worldview and culture will welcome Desiring the Kingdom as will those involved in ministry and other interested readers


BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine

In the wake of i Sassy i and as an alternative to the more staid reporting of i Ms Magazine i i Bitch i was launched in the mid nineties as a Xerox and staple zine covering the landscape of popular culture from a feminist perspective Both unabashed in its love for the guilty pleasures of consumer culture and deeply thoughtful about the way the pop landscape reflects and impacts women s lives i Bitch i grew to be a popular full scale magazine with a readership that stretched worldwide Today it stands as a touchstone of hip young feminist thought looking with both wit and irreverence at the way pop culture informs feminism and vice versa and encouraging readers to think critically about the messages lurking behind our favorite television shows movies music books blogs and the like i BITCHFest i offers an assortment of the most provocative essays reporting rants and raves from the magazine s first ten years along with new pieces written especially for the collection Smart nuanced cranky outrageous and clear eyed the anthology covers everything from a celebration of pre scandal Martha Stewart to a more recent critical look at the gayby boom from a time line of black women on sitcoms to an analysis of fat suits as the new blackface from an attempt to fashion a feminist vulgarity to a reclamation of female virginity It s a recent history of feminist pop culture critique and an arrow toward feminism s future br


Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History

From Robert Hughes one of the greatest art and cultural critics of our time comes a sprawling comprehensive and deeply personal history of Rome as city as empire and crucially as an origin of Western art and civilization two subjects about which Hughes has spent his life writing and thinking br br Starting on a personal note Hughes takes us to the Rome he first encountered as a hungry twenty one year old fresh from Australia in From that exhilarating portrait he takes us back more than two thousand years to the city s foundation one mired in mythologies and superstitions that would inform Rome s development for centuries br br From the beginning Rome was a hotbed of power overweening ambition desire political genius and corruption Hughes details the turbulent years that saw the formation of empire and the establishment of the sociopolitical system along the way providing colorful portraits of all the major figures both political Julius Caesar Marcus Aurelius Nero Caligula and cultural Cicero Martial Virgil to name just a few For almost a thousand years Rome would remain the most politically important richest and largest city in the Western world br br From the formation of empire Hughes moves on to the rise of early Christianity his own antipathy toward religion providing rich and lively context for the brutality of the early Church and eventually the Crusades The brutality had the desired effect the Church consolidated and outlasted the power of empire and Rome would be the capital of the Papal States until its annexation into the newly united kingdom of Italy in br br As one would expect Hughes lavishes plenty of critical attention on the Renaissance providing a full survey of the architecture painting and sculpture that blossomed in Rome over the course of the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries and shedding new light on old masters in the process Having established itself as the artistic and spiritual center of the world Rome in the seventeenth eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw artists and eventually wealthy tourists from all over Europe converging on the bustling city even while it was caught up in the nationalistic turmoils of the Italian independence struggle and war against France br br Hughes keeps the momentum going right into the twentieth century when Rome witnessed the rise and fall of Italian Fascism and Mussolini and took on yet another identity in the postwar years as the fashionable city of La Dolce Vita This is the Rome Hughes himself first encountered and it s one he contends perhaps controversially has been lost in the half century since as the cult of mass tourism has slowly ruined the dazzling city he loved so much Equal parts idolizing blasphemous outraged and awestruck i Rome i is a portrait of the Eternal City as only Robert Hughes could paint it


Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory

An introduction to literary and cultural theory for beginners The emphasis is on theory in practice with exercises and questions to help the student understand the methodology and practice of literary theory Topics covered include liberal humanism Marxism new historicism cultural materialism postcolonialism feminism queer theory structuralism postmodernism stylistics psychoanalytic theory


The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy

A national bestseller i The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy i has been widely acclaimed for identifying and defining the core body of knowledge that no literate American should be without Now in this newly revised and updated edition the authors provide a comprehensive look at cultural literacy for the nineties New entries reflect suggestions from hundreds of readers The dictionary takes into account the growing consensus over the specifics of multiculturalism the political and geographic changes in the world and the new ideas and terms that flow constantly from scientific research and technological development i The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy i challenges us to find out more about what we know and helps us make sense of what we read hear and learn It is a must have book for every home


Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol

A spirited look at the history of alcohol from the dawn of civilization to the twenty first century br br For better or worse alcohol has helped shape our civilization Throughout history it has been consumed not just to quench our thirsts or nourish our bodies but also for cultural reasons It has been associated since antiquity with celebration creativity friendship and danger for every drinking culture has acknowledged it possesses a dark side br br In i Drink i Iain Gately traces the course of humanity s year old love affair with the substance which has been dubbed the cause of and solution to all of life s problems Along the way he scrutinises the drinking habits of presidents prophets and barbarian hordes and features drinkers as diverse as Homer Hemmingway Shakespeare Al Capone Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson Covering matters as varied as bacchanals in Imperial Rome the gin craze in th century London the rise and fall of the temperance movement and drunk driving i Drink i details the benefits and burdens alcohol has conveyed to the societies in which it is consumed Gately s lively and provocative style brings to life the controversies past and present that have raged over alcohol and uses the authentic voices of drinkers and their detractors to explode myths and reveal truths about this most equivocal of fluids br br i Drink i further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States taking in the war of Independence the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt the slave trade and the failed experiment of National Prohibition Finally it provides a history of the world s best loved drinks Enthusiasts of craft brews and fine wines will discover the origins of their favorite tipples and what they have in common with Greek philosophers and medieval princes every time they raise a glass br br A rollicking tour through humanity s love affair with alcohol i Drink i is an intoxicating history of civilization


Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body

The human body is the most fraught and fascinating talked about and taboo unique yet universal fact of our lives It is the inspiration for art the subject of science and the source of some of the greatest stories ever told In em Anatomies em acclaimed author of em Periodic Tales em Hugh Aldersey Williams brings his entertaining blend of science history and culture to bear on this richest of subjects br In an engaging narrative that ranges from ancient body art to plastic surgery today and from head to toe Aldersey Williams explores the corporeal mysteries that make us human Why are some people left handed and some blue eyed What is the funny bone anyway Why do some cultures think of the heart as the seat of our souls and passions while others place it in the liver br br br A journalist with a knack for telling a story Aldersey Williams takes part in a drawing class attends the dissection of a human body and visits the doctor s office and the morgue But Anatomies draws not just on medical science and Aldersey Williams s reporting It draws also on the works of philosophers writers and artists from throughout history Aldersey Williams delves into our shared cultural heritage Shakespeare to em Frankenstein em Rembrandt to em A Space Odyssey em to reveal how attitudes toward the human body are as varied as human history as he explains the origins and legacy of tattooing shrunken heads bloodletting fingerprinting X rays and more br br br From Adam s rib to van Gogh s ear to Einstein s brain em Anatomies em is a treasure trove of surprising facts and stories and a wonderful embodiment of what Aristotle wrote more than two millennia ago The human body is more than the sum of its parts


The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror

Illuminating the dark side of the American century i The Monster Show i uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment and the great social crises of our time as well as horror s function as a pop analogue to surrealism and other artistic movements br br With penetrating analyses and revealing anecdotes David J Skal chronicles one of our most popular and pervasive modes of cultural expression He explores the disguised form in which Hollywood s classic horror movies played out the traumas of two world wars and the Depression the nightmare visions of invasion and mind control catalyzed by the Cold War the preoccupation with demon children that took hold as thalidomide birth control and abortion changed the reproductive landscape the vogue in visceral transformative special effects that paralleled the development of the plastic surgery industry the link between the AIDS epidemic and the current fascination with vampires and much more Now with a new Afterword by the author that looks at horror s popular renaissance in the last decade i The Monster Show i is a compulsively readable thought provoking inquiry into America s obsession with the macabre


Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

In this series of linked personal essays Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us


Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts

Finally in paperback after six hardcover printings this international bestseller is an encyclopedic A Z masterpiece the perfect introduction to the very core of Western humanism Clive James rescues or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers humanists musicians artists and philosophers of the twentieth century Soaring to Montaigne like heights em Cultural Amnesia em is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost


Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History

Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional cultural and political differences that divide them He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan s rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers but it also undermined the Afghan government s authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan s armed factions plunged the country into a civil war giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan s isolation from the world He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September toppled the Taliban so quickly and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the graveyard of empires for the British and Soviets and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate br


Madness in Civilization: The Cultural History of Insanity

p The loss of reason a sense of alienation from the common sense world we all like to imagine we inhabit the shattering emotional turmoil that can seize hold of some of us these are a part of our shared human experience whatever culture we come from Nowadays mental disturbance is most commonly though not always viewed through a medical lens but human beings have also always sought to make sense of the depredations of madness through invocations of the religious and the supernatural or to construct psychological and social accounts in an effort to tame the demons of Unreason p p Through twelve chapters organized chronologically from antiquity to today from the Bible to Freud from exorcism to mesmerism from Bedlam to Victorian asylums from the theory of humours to modern pharmacology Andrew Scull writes compellingly of the manifestations of madness its meanings its consequences and our attempts to treat it p


The Monuments Men. La fascinante aventura de los guerreros del arte que impidieron el expolio cultural nazi

La segunda guerra mundial no s lo se cobr vidas humanas el patrimonio art stico europeo fue tambi n v ctima de la barbarie nazi En total m s de cinco millones de objetos fueron con scados y trasladados a los territorios del Tercer Reich durante los primeros a os de la guerra br br Para evitar la desaparici n y el deterioro de ese enorme legado cultural los aliados crearon la secci n de Monumentos Bellas Artes y Archivos en la que hasta trabajaron algo m s de trescientas personas de trece pa ses distintos Los miembros de la secci n de Monumentos conocidos como Monuments Men encararon en aquellos a os cruciales una carrera contrarreloj para salvar tesoros culturales de la destrucci n ejerciendo a menudo una labor detectivesca a trav s de documentos recuperados en catedrales bombardeadas y museos y gracias a pistas conseguidas con la ayuda de la poblaci n local Se convirtieron de este modo en h roes improbables sumergidos en el epicentro de la peor guerra del siglo XX que arriesgaron sus vidas y en algunas ocasiones la perdieron y que como tantos otros que vivieron aquella poca personi caron el coraje que permiti que la mejor humanidad derrotara a la peor


Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity

Is God a public figure Does Christianity have a legitimate role to play in the public realm of politics business law and education Or are secularists right when they relegate religion to the strictly private realm of faith and feelings br br In em Total Truth em Nancy Pearcey offers a razor sharp analysis of the split between public and private fact and feelings She reveals the strategies of secularist gatekeepers who use this division to banish biblical principles from the cultural mainstream stripping Christianity of its power to challenge and redeem the whole of culture br br How can we overcome this divide Unify our fragmented lives Recover authentic spirituality With compelling examples from the struggles of real people Pearcey shows how to liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity She walks readers through practical hands on steps for developing a full orbed Christian worldview Finally she makes a passionate case that Christianity is not just religious truth but truth about total reality It is total truth br br This new Study Guide Edition of em Total Truth em is filled with fresh stories examples and illustrations Based on questions and comments raised by readers of the book it is ideal for individual or group study


Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics

bell hook s fourth book crosses disciplinary boundaries in major debates on postmodern theory cultural criticism and the politics of race and gender She values postmodernism s insights while warning that the fashionable infatuation with discourse about difference is dangerously detachable from the struggle we must all wage against racism sexism and cultural imperialism


Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta

Music category type book Paperback Robert Palmer Author Lightly age toned pages A Penquin Book reprinted in Printed in USA Total pages Approximate size x Brown covers with pictorials of Blues singers band on the front cover one guy wearing a blue suit Pages clean with no markings or tears Spine is tight and straight A nice book that is quite educational about the Blues singers See our photo not like the one Amazon is showing on the presentation BC


The Corset: A Cultural History

The corset is probably the most controversial garment in the history of fashion Although regarded as an essential element of fashionable dress from the Renaissance into the twentieth century the corset was also frequently condemned as an instrument of torture and the cause of ill health Why did women continue to don steel and whalebone corsets for four hundred years And why did they finally stop This lavishly illustrated book offers fascinating and often surprising answers to these questions Valerie Steele one of the world s most respected fashion historians explores the cultural history of the corset demolishing myths about this notorious garment and revealing new information and perspectives on its changing significance over the centuries br br Whereas most historians have framed the history of the corset in terms of oppression vs liberation and fashion vs health and comfort Steele contends that women s experiences of corsetry varied considerably and cannot be fully understood within these narrow frames Drawing on extensive research in textual visual and materials sources the author disproves the beliefs that the corset was dangerously unhealthy and was designed primarily for the oppression of women Women persisted in wearing corsets despite powerful male authorities trying to dissuade them because corsetry had positive connotations of social status self discipline youth and beauty In the twentieth century the garment itself fell out of fashion but Steele points out it has become internalized as women replace the boned corset with diet exercise and plastic surgery The book concludes with insightful analyses of such recent developments as the reconception of the corset as a symbol of rebellion and female sexual empowerment the revival of the corset in contemporary high fashion and its transformation from an item of underwear to outerwear


Rain: A Natural and Cultural History

Rain is elemental mysterious precious destructive br br It is the subject of countless poems and paintings the top of the weather report the source of the world s water Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain br br Cynthia Barnett s i Rain i begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans and builds to the storms of climate change It weaves together science the true shape of a raindrop the mysteries of frog and fish rains with the human story of our ambition to control rain from ancient rain dances to the miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River i i It offers a glimpse of our founding forecaster Thomas Jefferson who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology Two centuries later rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey s mopes and Kurt Cobain s grunge i Rain i is also a travelogue taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat and to India where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon drenched earth and turn it into perfume br br Now after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war humanity has finally managed to change the rain Only not in ways we intended As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world Too much and not nearly enough rain is a conversation we share and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it


Dracula: Illustrated with Photographs of Settings, Cultural Artifacts, and Vampires

This telling of the story of Dracula is enhanced with photographs of important locations annotated old maps and cultural artifacts In addition the book includes images of Dracula female vampires wolves etc br br I first read Dracula as a young teenager I remember it was Saturday afternoon and both my parents and my sister were out of the house The wind was making the branches scratch against my window just like the bats in the novel and the old house creaked To preserve my dignity let s not say that I was afraid let s just say that I was apprehensive br br Recently I decided to read the book again As I read I had difficulty visualizing some of the locales and cultural artifacts that the characters mentioned What do the Carpathian Mountains look like near dusk Is there really an English town called Whitby with a ruined abbey What did the harbor look like What is a Kukri knife br br Accordingly I have researched and inserted into this version of Dracula many photographs of important locations annotated old maps and cultural artifacts I also considered it worthwhile to insert images of Dracula female vampires wolves etc to add a bit of color to the text br br Furthermore I was disappointed that there were many historical geographic and cultural references in the text that were lost on me As I researched these I found that they enhanced my appreciation the story For that reason I have added appropriate hyperlinks that you can ignore or investigate if you are so inclined br br Dracula is in the public domain which means that the copyright has expired Anyone can download the text from several websites Consequently the text in this book is pretty much the same as the text you will find in other versions of Dracula I say pretty much because I have taken the liberty to correct spelling errors change a few confusing pronouns to the actual names of the characters who are speaking and break apart long and confusing paragraphs with multiple speakers br br I had a lot of fun enhancing my appreciation of this book We hope you enjoy it as well br br Daniel D Ferry Editor br


Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

i Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism i is a book by Fredric Jameson offering a critique of modernism and postmodernism from a Marxist perspective The book began as a article in the i New Left Review i br br Fredric Jameson s most wide ranging work seeks to crystalize a definition of postmodernism Jameson s inquiry looks at the postmodern across a wide landscape from high art to low art from market ideology to architecture from painting to punk film and from video art to literature


Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia

History on a grand scale an enchanting masterpiece that explores the making of one of the world s most vibrant civilizations br br A People s Tragedy wrote Eric Hobsbawm did more to help us understand the Russian Revolution than any other book I know Now in Natasha s Dance internationally renowned historian Orlando Figes does the same for Russian culture summoning the myriad elements that formed a nation and held it together br br Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St Petersburg a window on the West and culminating with the challenges posed to Russian identity by the Soviet regime Figes examines how writers artists and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself its character spiritual essence and destiny He skillfully interweaves the great works by Dostoevsky Stravinsky and Chagall with folk embroidery peasant songs religious icons and all the customs of daily life from food and drink to bathing habits to beliefs about the spirit world Figes s characters range high and low the revered Tolstoy who left his deathbed to search for the Kingdom of God as well as the serf girl Praskovya who became Russian opera s first superstar and shocked society by becoming her owner s wife br br Like the European schooled countess Natasha performing an impromptu folk dance in Tolstoy s War and Peace the spirit of Russianness is revealed by Figes as rich and uplifting complex and contradictory a powerful force that unified a vast country and proved more lasting than any Russian ruler or state


Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus

An engrossing lively history of a fearsome and misunderstood virus that binds man and dog The most fatal virus known to science rabies a disease that spreads avidly from animals to humans kills nearly one hundred percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain In this critically acclaimed exploration journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years of the history science and cultural mythology of rabies From Greek myths to zombie flicks from the laboratory heroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment i Rabid i is a fresh and often wildly entertaining look at one of humankind s oldest and most fearsome foes


Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation

div div p In this hip hilarious and truly eye opening cultural history menstruation is talked about as never before i Flow i i i spans its fascinating occasionally wacky and sometimes downright scary story from i mikvahs i ritual cleansing baths to menopause hysteria to hysterectomies not to mention the Pill cramps the history of underwear and the movie about puberty they showed you in th grade p p i Flow i answers such questions as What s the i point i of getting a period What did women do before pads and tampons What about new drugs that promise to end periods a hot idea or not Sex during your period gross or a turn on And what s i normal i anyway With color reproductions of campy historical ads and early excruciating femcare devices it also provides a fascinating and mind boggling gallery of this complex personal and uniquely female process p p As irreverent as it is informative i Flow i gives an everyday occurrence its true props and eradicates the stigma placed on it for centuries p div div


Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

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Candide (Bedford Cultural Editions Series)

This new edition of Candide by Voltaire with Related Documents continues to preserve the provocative nature of Voltaire s portrayal of eighteenth century European society while placing the work and its author in historical context Daniel Gordon s translation enhances Candide s readability and highlights the text s wit and satire for twenty first century readers The revised introduction provides insight into Voltaire s views on slavery showing students how the complexities of Voltaire s life relate to the events philosophy and characters of Candide An expanded Related Documents section further reveals Voltaire s relation to slavery with new extracts from The Black Code and Voltaire s own work on the subject Helpful editorial features include explanatory notes throughout the text a chronology of Voltaire s life questions for consideration and a selected bibliography


From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present

Highly regarded here and abroad for some thirty works of cultural history and criticism master historian Jacques Barzun has now set down in one continuous narrative the sum of his discoveries and conclusions about the whole of Western culture since br br In this account Barzun describes what Western Man wrought from the Renaisance and Reformation down to the present in the double light of its own time and our pressing concerns He introduces characters and incidents with his unusual literary style and grace bringing to the fore those that have Puritans as Democrats The Monarch s Revolution The Artist Prophet and Jester show the recurrent role of great themes throughout the eras br br The triumphs and defeats of five hundred years form an inspiring saga that modifies the current impression of one long tale of oppression by white European males Women and their deeds are prominent and freedom even in sexual matters is not an invention of the last decades And when Barzun rates the present not as a culmination but a decline he is in no way a prophet of doom Instead he shows decadence as the creative novelty that will burst forth tomorrow or the next day br br Only after a lifetime of separate studies covering a broad territory could a writer create with such ease the synthesis displayed in this magnificent volume


A Room With A View By E. M. Forster (World Cultural Heritage Library)

b But you do he went on not waiting for contradiction You love the boy body and soul plainly directly as he loves you and no other word expresses it b br br Lucy has her rigid middle class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish the Cockney Signora curious Mr Emerson and most of all his passionate son George br br Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England personified in her terminally dull fianc Cecil Vyse Will she ever learn to follow her own heart


Julius Caesar, a Longman Cultural Edition

Handsomely produced and affordably priced i Julius Caesar A i i Longman Cultural Edition i presents this classic work in provocative and illuminating contexts cultural critical and literary


The Merchant of Venice (A Longman Cultural Edition)

From Longman s Cultural Editions Series Lawrence Danson presents William Shakespeare s i The Merchant of Venice i in several illuminating contexts cultural historical and critical Featuring illustrations a table of dates and performance reviews the text provides historical sources as well as numerous documents that reveal the cultural context in which i The Merchant of Venice i was written


The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change

A great deal has been written on what has variously been described as the postmodern condition and on postmodern culture architecture art and society In this new book David Harvey seeks to determine what is meant by the term in its different contexts and to identify how accurate and useful it is as a description of contemporary experience br br But the book is much more than this in the course of his investigation the author provides a social and semantic history from the Enlightenment to the present of modernism and its expression in political and social ideas and movements as well as in art literature and architecture He considers in particular how meaning and perception of time and space themselves vary over time and space and shows that this variance affects individual values and social processes of the most fundamental kind br br This book will be widely welcomed not only for its clear and critical account of the arguments surrounding the propositions of modernity and postmodernity but as an incisive contribution to the history of ideas and their relation to social and political change


Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation

Malls stadiums and universities are actually liturgical structures that influence and shape our thoughts and affections Humans as Augustine noted are desiring agents full of longings and passions in brief we are what we love br br James K A Smith focuses on the themes of liturgy and desire in Desiring the Kingdom the first book in what will be a three volume set on the theology of culture He redirects our yearnings to focus on the greatest good God Ultimately Smith seeks to re vision education through the process and practice of worship Students of philosophy theology worldview and culture will welcome Desiring the Kingdom as will those involved in ministry and other interested readers


BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine

In the wake of i Sassy i and as an alternative to the more staid reporting of i Ms Magazine i i Bitch i was launched in the mid nineties as a Xerox and staple zine covering the landscape of popular culture from a feminist perspective Both unabashed in its love for the guilty pleasures of consumer culture and deeply thoughtful about the way the pop landscape reflects and impacts women s lives i Bitch i grew to be a popular full scale magazine with a readership that stretched worldwide Today it stands as a touchstone of hip young feminist thought looking with both wit and irreverence at the way pop culture informs feminism and vice versa and encouraging readers to think critically about the messages lurking behind our favorite television shows movies music books blogs and the like i BITCHFest i offers an assortment of the most provocative essays reporting rants and raves from the magazine s first ten years along with new pieces written especially for the collection Smart nuanced cranky outrageous and clear eyed the anthology covers everything from a celebration of pre scandal Martha Stewart to a more recent critical look at the gayby boom from a time line of black women on sitcoms to an analysis of fat suits as the new blackface from an attempt to fashion a feminist vulgarity to a reclamation of female virginity It s a recent history of feminist pop culture critique and an arrow toward feminism s future br


Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History

From Robert Hughes one of the greatest art and cultural critics of our time comes a sprawling comprehensive and deeply personal history of Rome as city as empire and crucially as an origin of Western art and civilization two subjects about which Hughes has spent his life writing and thinking br br Starting on a personal note Hughes takes us to the Rome he first encountered as a hungry twenty one year old fresh from Australia in From that exhilarating portrait he takes us back more than two thousand years to the city s foundation one mired in mythologies and superstitions that would inform Rome s development for centuries br br From the beginning Rome was a hotbed of power overweening ambition desire political genius and corruption Hughes details the turbulent years that saw the formation of empire and the establishment of the sociopolitical system along the way providing colorful portraits of all the major figures both political Julius Caesar Marcus Aurelius Nero Caligula and cultural Cicero Martial Virgil to name just a few For almost a thousand years Rome would remain the most politically important richest and largest city in the Western world br br From the formation of empire Hughes moves on to the rise of early Christianity his own antipathy toward religion providing rich and lively context for the brutality of the early Church and eventually the Crusades The brutality had the desired effect the Church consolidated and outlasted the power of empire and Rome would be the capital of the Papal States until its annexation into the newly united kingdom of Italy in br br As one would expect Hughes lavishes plenty of critical attention on the Renaissance providing a full survey of the architecture painting and sculpture that blossomed in Rome over the course of the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries and shedding new light on old masters in the process Having established itself as the artistic and spiritual center of the world Rome in the seventeenth eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw artists and eventually wealthy tourists from all over Europe converging on the bustling city even while it was caught up in the nationalistic turmoils of the Italian independence struggle and war against France br br Hughes keeps the momentum going right into the twentieth century when Rome witnessed the rise and fall of Italian Fascism and Mussolini and took on yet another identity in the postwar years as the fashionable city of La Dolce Vita This is the Rome Hughes himself first encountered and it s one he contends perhaps controversially has been lost in the half century since as the cult of mass tourism has slowly ruined the dazzling city he loved so much Equal parts idolizing blasphemous outraged and awestruck i Rome i is a portrait of the Eternal City as only Robert Hughes could paint it


Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory

An introduction to literary and cultural theory for beginners The emphasis is on theory in practice with exercises and questions to help the student understand the methodology and practice of literary theory Topics covered include liberal humanism Marxism new historicism cultural materialism postcolonialism feminism queer theory structuralism postmodernism stylistics psychoanalytic theory


The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy

A national bestseller i The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy i has been widely acclaimed for identifying and defining the core body of knowledge that no literate American should be without Now in this newly revised and updated edition the authors provide a comprehensive look at cultural literacy for the nineties New entries reflect suggestions from hundreds of readers The dictionary takes into account the growing consensus over the specifics of multiculturalism the political and geographic changes in the world and the new ideas and terms that flow constantly from scientific research and technological development i The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy i challenges us to find out more about what we know and helps us make sense of what we read hear and learn It is a must have book for every home


Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol

A spirited look at the history of alcohol from the dawn of civilization to the twenty first century br br For better or worse alcohol has helped shape our civilization Throughout history it has been consumed not just to quench our thirsts or nourish our bodies but also for cultural reasons It has been associated since antiquity with celebration creativity friendship and danger for every drinking culture has acknowledged it possesses a dark side br br In i Drink i Iain Gately traces the course of humanity s year old love affair with the substance which has been dubbed the cause of and solution to all of life s problems Along the way he scrutinises the drinking habits of presidents prophets and barbarian hordes and features drinkers as diverse as Homer Hemmingway Shakespeare Al Capone Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson Covering matters as varied as bacchanals in Imperial Rome the gin craze in th century London the rise and fall of the temperance movement and drunk driving i Drink i details the benefits and burdens alcohol has conveyed to the societies in which it is consumed Gately s lively and provocative style brings to life the controversies past and present that have raged over alcohol and uses the authentic voices of drinkers and their detractors to explode myths and reveal truths about this most equivocal of fluids br br i Drink i further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States taking in the war of Independence the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt the slave trade and the failed experiment of National Prohibition Finally it provides a history of the world s best loved drinks Enthusiasts of craft brews and fine wines will discover the origins of their favorite tipples and what they have in common with Greek philosophers and medieval princes every time they raise a glass br br A rollicking tour through humanity s love affair with alcohol i Drink i is an intoxicating history of civilization


Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body

The human body is the most fraught and fascinating talked about and taboo unique yet universal fact of our lives It is the inspiration for art the subject of science and the source of some of the greatest stories ever told In em Anatomies em acclaimed author of em Periodic Tales em Hugh Aldersey Williams brings his entertaining blend of science history and culture to bear on this richest of subjects br In an engaging narrative that ranges from ancient body art to plastic surgery today and from head to toe Aldersey Williams explores the corporeal mysteries that make us human Why are some people left handed and some blue eyed What is the funny bone anyway Why do some cultures think of the heart as the seat of our souls and passions while others place it in the liver br br br A journalist with a knack for telling a story Aldersey Williams takes part in a drawing class attends the dissection of a human body and visits the doctor s office and the morgue But Anatomies draws not just on medical science and Aldersey Williams s reporting It draws also on the works of philosophers writers and artists from throughout history Aldersey Williams delves into our shared cultural heritage Shakespeare to em Frankenstein em Rembrandt to em A Space Odyssey em to reveal how attitudes toward the human body are as varied as human history as he explains the origins and legacy of tattooing shrunken heads bloodletting fingerprinting X rays and more br br br From Adam s rib to van Gogh s ear to Einstein s brain em Anatomies em is a treasure trove of surprising facts and stories and a wonderful embodiment of what Aristotle wrote more than two millennia ago The human body is more than the sum of its parts


The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror

Illuminating the dark side of the American century i The Monster Show i uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment and the great social crises of our time as well as horror s function as a pop analogue to surrealism and other artistic movements br br With penetrating analyses and revealing anecdotes David J Skal chronicles one of our most popular and pervasive modes of cultural expression He explores the disguised form in which Hollywood s classic horror movies played out the traumas of two world wars and the Depression the nightmare visions of invasion and mind control catalyzed by the Cold War the preoccupation with demon children that took hold as thalidomide birth control and abortion changed the reproductive landscape the vogue in visceral transformative special effects that paralleled the development of the plastic surgery industry the link between the AIDS epidemic and the current fascination with vampires and much more Now with a new Afterword by the author that looks at horror s popular renaissance in the last decade i The Monster Show i is a compulsively readable thought provoking inquiry into America s obsession with the macabre


Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

In this series of linked personal essays Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us


Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts

Finally in paperback after six hardcover printings this international bestseller is an encyclopedic A Z masterpiece the perfect introduction to the very core of Western humanism Clive James rescues or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers humanists musicians artists and philosophers of the twentieth century Soaring to Montaigne like heights em Cultural Amnesia em is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost


Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History

Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional cultural and political differences that divide them He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan s rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers but it also undermined the Afghan government s authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan s armed factions plunged the country into a civil war giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan s isolation from the world He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September toppled the Taliban so quickly and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the graveyard of empires for the British and Soviets and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate br


Madness in Civilization: The Cultural History of Insanity

p The loss of reason a sense of alienation from the common sense world we all like to imagine we inhabit the shattering emotional turmoil that can seize hold of some of us these are a part of our shared human experience whatever culture we come from Nowadays mental disturbance is most commonly though not always viewed through a medical lens but human beings have also always sought to make sense of the depredations of madness through invocations of the religious and the supernatural or to construct psychological and social accounts in an effort to tame the demons of Unreason p p Through twelve chapters organized chronologically from antiquity to today from the Bible to Freud from exorcism to mesmerism from Bedlam to Victorian asylums from the theory of humours to modern pharmacology Andrew Scull writes compellingly of the manifestations of madness its meanings its consequences and our attempts to treat it p


The Monuments Men. La fascinante aventura de los guerreros del arte que impidieron el expolio cultural nazi

La segunda guerra mundial no s lo se cobr vidas humanas el patrimonio art stico europeo fue tambi n v ctima de la barbarie nazi En total m s de cinco millones de objetos fueron con scados y trasladados a los territorios del Tercer Reich durante los primeros a os de la guerra br br Para evitar la desaparici n y el deterioro de ese enorme legado cultural los aliados crearon la secci n de Monumentos Bellas Artes y Archivos en la que hasta trabajaron algo m s de trescientas personas de trece pa ses distintos Los miembros de la secci n de Monumentos conocidos como Monuments Men encararon en aquellos a os cruciales una carrera contrarreloj para salvar tesoros culturales de la destrucci n ejerciendo a menudo una labor detectivesca a trav s de documentos recuperados en catedrales bombardeadas y museos y gracias a pistas conseguidas con la ayuda de la poblaci n local Se convirtieron de este modo en h roes improbables sumergidos en el epicentro de la peor guerra del siglo XX que arriesgaron sus vidas y en algunas ocasiones la perdieron y que como tantos otros que vivieron aquella poca personi caron el coraje que permiti que la mejor humanidad derrotara a la peor


Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity

Is God a public figure Does Christianity have a legitimate role to play in the public realm of politics business law and education Or are secularists right when they relegate religion to the strictly private realm of faith and feelings br br In em Total Truth em Nancy Pearcey offers a razor sharp analysis of the split between public and private fact and feelings She reveals the strategies of secularist gatekeepers who use this division to banish biblical principles from the cultural mainstream stripping Christianity of its power to challenge and redeem the whole of culture br br How can we overcome this divide Unify our fragmented lives Recover authentic spirituality With compelling examples from the struggles of real people Pearcey shows how to liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity She walks readers through practical hands on steps for developing a full orbed Christian worldview Finally she makes a passionate case that Christianity is not just religious truth but truth about total reality It is total truth br br This new Study Guide Edition of em Total Truth em is filled with fresh stories examples and illustrations Based on questions and comments raised by readers of the book it is ideal for individual or group study


Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics

bell hook s fourth book crosses disciplinary boundaries in major debates on postmodern theory cultural criticism and the politics of race and gender She values postmodernism s insights while warning that the fashionable infatuation with discourse about difference is dangerously detachable from the struggle we must all wage against racism sexism and cultural imperialism


Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta

Music category type book Paperback Robert Palmer Author Lightly age toned pages A Penquin Book reprinted in Printed in USA Total pages Approximate size x Brown covers with pictorials of Blues singers band on the front cover one guy wearing a blue suit Pages clean with no markings or tears Spine is tight and straight A nice book that is quite educational about the Blues singers See our photo not like the one Amazon is showing on the presentation BC


The Corset: A Cultural History

The corset is probably the most controversial garment in the history of fashion Although regarded as an essential element of fashionable dress from the Renaissance into the twentieth century the corset was also frequently condemned as an instrument of torture and the cause of ill health Why did women continue to don steel and whalebone corsets for four hundred years And why did they finally stop This lavishly illustrated book offers fascinating and often surprising answers to these questions Valerie Steele one of the world s most respected fashion historians explores the cultural history of the corset demolishing myths about this notorious garment and revealing new information and perspectives on its changing significance over the centuries br br Whereas most historians have framed the history of the corset in terms of oppression vs liberation and fashion vs health and comfort Steele contends that women s experiences of corsetry varied considerably and cannot be fully understood within these narrow frames Drawing on extensive research in textual visual and materials sources the author disproves the beliefs that the corset was dangerously unhealthy and was designed primarily for the oppression of women Women persisted in wearing corsets despite powerful male authorities trying to dissuade them because corsetry had positive connotations of social status self discipline youth and beauty In the twentieth century the garment itself fell out of fashion but Steele points out it has become internalized as women replace the boned corset with diet exercise and plastic surgery The book concludes with insightful analyses of such recent developments as the reconception of the corset as a symbol of rebellion and female sexual empowerment the revival of the corset in contemporary high fashion and its transformation from an item of underwear to outerwear