Review: History of the Breast

History of the Breast
History of the Breast by Marilyn Yalom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An entertaining and informative look at the cultural history of the breast in Western society, from the mother goddess cults to modern commercialization and fetishization. A fascinating portion of the book deals with the use of the breast for political purposes, such as the French Revolution’s daringly bare-breasted “Marianne” figure as contrasted by the armored, asexual Britannia of Great Britain or the U.S.’s Grecian-draped Columbia, who was apparently edged out in favor of Uncle Sam and the shapeless Statue of Liberty.

This was published in the late 1990s and sadly shows a bit of its age when the author proudly predicts a cure for breast cancer and a greater freedom for women to control their own bodies. We’re still waiting for that, unfortunately!

Highly recommended for anyone interested in cultural history or women’s studies.

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