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Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo [Paperback]

Margot Mifflin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 July 2001
Bodies of Subversion traces the history of women and tattoo in Western society from the early 1880s to the present, charting the special significance tattooing has for women as a powerfully transgressive form of self-expression. “In this provocative work full of intriguing female characters from tattoo history, Margot Mifflin makes a persuasive case for the tattooed woman as an emblem of female self-expression.” — Susan Faludi


Product details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Juno Publishing; 2nd edition (27 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189045110X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890451103
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 840,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Margot Mifflin writes about women, art, and contemporary culture. The author of "Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo," she has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Believer, and Salon.com. Mifflin is an associate professor in the English Department of Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY)and directs the Arts and Culture program at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism, where she also teaches.

Her book, "The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman" was published by The University of Nebraska in 2009. The TLS called it "an important and engrossing book, which reveals as much about the appetites and formulas of emerging mass culture as it does about tribal cultures in nineteenth-century America."

Product Description

Review

A fascinating history of women with tattoos...getting inked has been part of subversive subculture for centuries. --Daily Mail

Remains the primary source on the subject... offering a modern take on how the public's opinion of tattoos has evolved. --Flavorwire --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Margot Mifflin writes about women, art, and contemporary culture. She has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, The Believer, and Salon.com, and she lectures about body modification at colleges, museums, and universities nationally. Mifflin is an associate professor in the English Department of Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and directs the Arts and Culture program at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she also teaches. Her book The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman will be published by The University of Nebraska Press in March.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Good Quality. 10 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought this book having read the other good reviews on Amazon and I have found it very useful. I am currently writing a creative piece concerning women and tattoos and this book is intelligent, thought-provoking and surprising. It is full of personal stories from women that I have found invaluable for my work. It is particularly strong on the history of women-as-tattooists and is full of good photographs. I would recommend this book to anyone who has any kind of interest in the subject.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important history of a secret enthusiasm 17 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Margot Mifflin's book is an amazingly well-documented and thoroughly acurate telling of the secret history of tattooed women and women tattoo artists in America. I was interviewed extensively for this subject, and throughout the year she was gathering material I watched as Mifflin's knowledge and understanding of her subject matter grew.
Contrary to another UNSIGNED review posted here, I believe the women quoted are proud to have been included and I have not heard ONE of my peers complain about it.
Many people feel that tattooing has experienced a huge upsurgence of popularity in the last decade, but until this book most will not have had the perspective to realise just how common it was for your Grandma to have slipped off to get a wicked little something, possibly a secret only she and her husband shared. It is women's willingness to boldly display their tattoos, NOT their enthuisiasm for body art, that has changed.
Margot Mifflin brought her experience as an investigator with a feminist perspective to the organization of a vast wealth of material, helped by many of the important members of the tattoo community. We knew that this was unlikely to be a book one of us would write, and it most definately needed to be written.
From the circus ladies who chose to exhibit themselves as art to the educated graphic artists of today who choose tattooing as their art medium, the women of ink are grateful.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is not only one of the best books on tattoo or women, but it is one of the best books I have ever read. As a student I used the book for my dissertation on women and tattoos, and it was so helpful; I haven't found another book on the subject that even comes close. The photos are great too. I agree with Pat Fish in that people do not realise that it is not that there is a surge in women having tattoos, but women are changing their attitudes in showing them. From where women had their tattoos, to how they made women money, this book looks at over 100 years of history. It is so worth buying!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important history of a secret enthusiasm 18 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Margot Mifflin's book is an amazingly well-documented and thoroughly acurate telling of the secret history of tattooed women and women tattoo artists in America. I was interviewed extensively for this subject, and throughout the year she was gathering material I watched as Mifflin's knowledge and understanding of her subject matter grew.
I believe the women quoted are proud to have been included and I have not heard ONE of my peers complain about the book, either for attitude expressed or factually.
Many people feel that tattooing has experienced a huge upsurgence of popularity in the last decade, but until this book most will not have had the perspective to realise just how common it was for your Grandma to have slipped off to get a wicked little something, possibly a secret only she and her husband shared. It is women's willingness to boldly display their tattoos, NOT their enthuisiasm for body art, that has changed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for tattoo ladies. 24 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this for my sister, a tattoo enthusiast, and she loves it. I have not seen ot myself but if she says its good, that will do for me.
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