History of the Breast

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9780345388940: History of the Breast

In this provocative, pioneering, and wholly engrossing cultural history, noted scholar Marilyn Yalom explores twenty-five thousand years of ideas, images, and perceptions of the female breast--in religion, psychology, politics, society, and the arts.

Through the centuries, the breast has been laden with hugely powerful and contradictory meanings. There is the "good breast" of reverence and life, the breast that nourishes infants and entire communities, as depicted in ancient idols, fifteenth-century Italian Madonnas, and representations of equality in the French Revolution. Then there is the "bad breast" of Ezekiel's wanton harlots, Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, and the torpedo-breasted dominatrix, symbolizing enticement and aggression. Yalom examines these contradictions--and illuminates the implications behind them.

A fascinating, astute, and richly allusive journey from Paleolithic goddesses to modern day feminists, A History of the Breast is full of insight and surprises. As Yalom says, "I intend to make you think about women's breasts as you never have before." In this, she succeeds brilliantly.

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Review:

What's in a breast? That depends on who's asking, says Marilyn Yalom, author of this scholarly, illustrated treatise on the breast in Western society. "Babies see food. Men see sex. Doctors see disease. Businesspeople see dollar signs." Breasts have been denounced as wanton, or idealized as givers of power or life in images of Egyptian goddess Isis nursing pharoahs; sturdy, maternal Mother Russia; or the more eroticized, bare-breasted symbol of republican ideals in France. Psychologists, religious leaders, advertisers, and pornographers have rhapsodized over, vilified, and used breasts to sell everything from war to Cadillacs. And, finally, women have seen in them pleasure, power, sustenance, fear, or failure to measure up.

From the Publisher:

This is the sort of book that I would pick off the shelf immediately just upon seeing the title. What could be more fascinating than an exploration of society's obsession with this particular part of the female anatomy? Marilyn Yalom's meticulously well-researched text spans "25,000 years of ideas, images, and perceptions of the female breast--in religion, psychology, politics, society and the arts." That's quite an undertaking and Yalom succeeds brilliantly in all aspects. It is both in-depth and readable; Yalom is as much a writer as she is a researcher. A History of the Breast is the perfect springboard to a deeper understanding of the often very dark cultural significance of the female form.

-Kelly Lamb, Ballantine Marketing Coordinator

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This engrossing work of original research is the first to consider how the breast has been perceived in the Western world from ancient days to the present - how it has been understood in religion, in the arts, in medicine, in psychoanalysis (by Freud as erotically secondary to the phallus, then by Melanie Klein as the original object of desire). Bookseller Inventory # APC9780345388940

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This engrossing work of original research is the first to consider how the breast has been perceived in the Western world from ancient days to the present - how it has been understood in religion, in the arts, in medicine, in psychoanalysis (by Freud as erotically secondary to the phallus, then by Melanie Klein as the original object of desire). Bookseller Inventory # APC9780345388940

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Book Description Ballantine Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 352 pages. Dimensions: 8.8in. x 6.0in. x 1.0in.In this provocative, pioneering, and wholly engrossing cultural history, noted scholar Marilyn Yalom explores twenty-five thousand years of ideas, images, and perceptions of the female breast--in religion, psychology, politics, society, and the arts. Through the centuries, the breast has been laden with hugely powerful and contradictory meanings. There is the good breast of reverence and life, the breast that nourishes infants and entire communities, as depicted in ancient idols, fifteenth-century Italian Madonnas, and representations of equality in the French Revolution. Then there is the bad breast of Ezekiels wanton harlots, Shakespeares Lady Macbeth, and the torpedo-breasted dominatrix, symbolizing enticement and aggression. Yalom examines these contradictions--and illuminates the implications behind them. A fascinating, astute, and richly allusive journey from Paleolithic goddesses to modern day feminists, A History of the Breast is full of insight and surprises. As Yalom says, I intend to make you think about womens breasts as you never have before. In this, she succeeds brilliantly. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780345388940

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