A History of the Breast by Marilyn Yalom

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Synopsis

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. Yalom investigates how the breast has been understood in religion, in medicine, and in psychoanalysis. 352 pp. 15,000 print.
 

About Marilyn Yalom

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Marilyn Yalom is a senior scholar at the Institute for Women and Gender at Stanford University. She is the author of "A History of the Wife"; "A History of the Breast"; "Blood Sisters: The French Revolution in Women's Memory"; and "Maternity, Mortality, and the Literature of Madness". She lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, psychiatrist and writer Irvin Yalom.
 
Published January 1, 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. 352 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Yalom hits her stride with the early Renaissance, offering the redoubtable couple Katherina and Martin Luther as an early prototype for politically charged “republican marriages” in the era of the American and French revolutions.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Enlightenment France endorsed Rousseau's campaign to restore breast-feeding, and (apotheosizing what Yalom calls the ``political breast''), represented the republic as a woman ``opening her breasts to all her citizens.'' Credit for coming up with the paradigm that united the maternal and erotic b...

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Publishers Weekly

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The voices of ordinary women speak volumes in this sweeping history of women and marriage in the Western world.

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Publishers Weekly

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With wit and dispassionate scholarship, Stanford researcher and feminist scholar Yalom decodes the social constructions of the breast as political symbol of liberty in the French Revolution, idealized domestic comforter in the Dutch golden age, modern advertising commodity and source of titillati...

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Entertainment Weekly

Yalom (A History of the Breast) traces a slow, steady historical march toward marital equality in this exhaustive study beginning with ancient Greek and Roman wives and ending with today's married women.

Feb 16 2001 | Read Full Review of A History of the Breast

People

In short chapters with titles like "Curves," "Libertine," "Swimsuit," "Slang," "Pin-Up" and "Bottom-Watcher," Hennig borrows from the fields of anthropology, art history, literature, sociology, linguistics—and quotes liberally from vintage pornography—to create this witty, exhaustive overview of ...

Mar 17 1997 | Read Full Review of A History of the Breast

London Review of Books

It is part of the interesting problem Yalom has set herself that we – the male or female ‘we’ – cannot, should not, be disgusted by almost any graphic representation of the woman’s breast, even while we are being asked to understand and reject the kinds of objectification involved.

Sep 06 2001 | Read Full Review of A History of the Breast

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