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A Brief History of Nakedness

$33.00  $24.95
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Author: Philip Carr-Gomm
Publisher: Reaktion Books
288pp Paperback 143 illustrations
ISBN: 1861896476

By exploring the way in which nakedness has been used literally and metaphorically in the worlds of religion, politics and popular culture, A Brief History of Nakedness offers unique insights into this most intimate of subjects. 

Sleazy or sublime? Nude people streaking across football pitches, thousands of naked bodies on bridges and in parks shivering at dawn for the privilege of being in a Spencer Tunick photo, middle-aged unemployed men in Sheffield taking their ‘kit’ off in a local theatre. What on earth is going on? Is our preoccupation with naked flesh frivolous and just driven by sexual desire, or are other forces at work?

Philip Carr-Gomm believes that the way we get naked and the way we perceive nudity can provide us with key insights into the nature of the human condition. In his surprising new book, A Brief History of Nakedness, Carr-Gomm tackles head on a subject hardly ever discussed: the way some religions use nudity to get closer to God.
Before we can recover our composure he’s on to the next topic: how nakedness has become a powerful weapon in the hands of the political protestor, and how politicians enjoy taking their clothes off to prove they have nothing to hide. Then on to more familiar ground: how popular culture has embraced nakedness. He explores the phenomenon of streaking, the history of nudism, the story of nakedness in the worlds of the theatre and cinema, pop and opera, ballet and contemporary dance. It turns out that the nude is everywhere and now you can do almost anything naked somewhere in the world: from sky diving and skiing in Europe, to dining out in New York or Edinburgh.

A Brief History of Nakedness is an erudite and witty tour around the world and across the centuries, ranging from the seedy to the spiritual, and from the ancient history of India to the world of the modern pop diva. All the while the author’s passion for a subject that fascinates him as a psychologist shines through.

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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 12 November, 2010.

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