Read The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg Free Online
Book Title: The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History|
The author of the book: Katherine Ashenburg
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Reader ratings: 4.3
Edition: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl
Date of issue: October 28th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780374531379
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.39 MB
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The question of cleanliness is one every age and culture has answered with confidence. For the first-century Roman, being clean meant a two-hour soak in baths of various temperatures, scraping the body with a miniature rake, and a final application of oil. For the aristocratic Frenchman in the seventeenth century, it meant changing your shirt once a day and perhaps going so far as to dip your hands in some water. Did Napoleon know something we didn't when he wrote to Josephine, "I will return in five days. Stop washing"? And why is the German term Warmduscher--a man who washes in warm or hot water--invariably a slight against his masculinity? Katherine Ashenburg takes on such fascinating questions as these in The Dirt on Clean, her charming tour of attitudes toward hygiene through time. An engrossing fusion of erudition and anecdote, The Dirt on Clean considers the bizarre prescriptions of history's doctors, the hygienic peccadilloes of great authors, and the historic twists and turns that have brought us to a place Ashenburg considers hedonistic yet oversanitized.
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Read information about the authorKatherine Ashenburg is the prize-winning author of three non-fiction books and hundreds of articles on subjects that range from travel to mourning customs to architecture. She describes herself as a lapsed Dickensian and as someone who has had a different career every decade. Her work life began with a Ph.D. dissertation about Dickens and Christmas, but she quickly left the academic world for successive careers at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a radio producer; at the Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail as the arts and books editor; and most recently as a freelance writer, lecturer and teacher.
Her first book, Going to Town: Architectural Walking Tours in Southern Ontario, won the Ontario Historical Society's award for best regional history. Her second book, The Mourner's Dance: What We Do When People Die, was a finalist for two important prizes. Her latest book The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History, is a spirited chronicle of the West's ambivalent relationship with the washed and unwashed body. She's a regular contributor to the Sunday Travel section of The New York Times and she writes a column on design and architecture for Toronto Life magazine.
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