Adam's Navel

Adam's Navel

A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form

Book - 2003
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Penguin Putnam
A witty and informed survey, Adam's Navel is a unique brew of science, history, and storytelling that illuminates our perception, exploitation, and celebration of the human body.

Moving from head to toe in twelve chapters, Michael Sims blends cultural history with evolutionary theory to produce a wonderfully original narrative. "No part of the body lacks a story," writes Sims, who analyzes and demystifies the visible parts of the body that make up the whole-our animal form that is also a screen onto which we project our fears and obsessions. He tells of dreadlocks and Achilles' heel, of fingerprints and penis size. He discusses the history of breastfeeding, the allure of navel rings, ancient rules for shaking hands, why nature builds men and women on a female body plan, and how the evolution of our two-legged stance affects childbirth and back pain.

Drawing on evolution and the mechanics of human anatomy, along with Shakespeare, mythology, film, and popular culture, Sims creates a marvelous new lens through which to view this body that we inhabit almost unconsciously. Adam's Navel is a field guide to the landscape of ourselves.

Baker & Taylor
A cultural history of the perceptions, exploitations, and celebrations of the human body discusses such topics as Achilles' heel, dreadlocks, fingerprints, breast feeding, navel rings, and back pain.

Blackwell North Amer
In this fascinating brew of science and storytelling, readers encounter not only accessible explanations of the mechanics of their anatomy, but also the layers of mythology, religious lore, history, Darwinian theory, and popular culture that have helped to shape our understanding of any given body part. For the human hand, we learn how the tiny nerve endings work, as well as the history of the handshake, the discovery of fingerprints, the connection between hand movement and language, and even how Proust regarded our all-important paws. And that's just the hand! There's the history of breast-feeding, the raison d'etre of tears, the art and science of lipreading, and, in Sims's discussion of the nose, Nietzsche's declaration tha this genius resided in his nostrils.

Baker
& Taylor

A cultural history of the perceptions, exploitations, and celebrations of the human body discusses such topics as Achilles' heel, dreadlocks, fingerprints, breast-feeding, navel rings, and back pain. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2003
ISBN: 9780670032242
0670032247
Branch Call Number: 306.4 SIM
Characteristics: 342 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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