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Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity Paperback – 15 Aug 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 470 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (15 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199532087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199532087
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 837,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

This is a fascinating account of cleanliness, from BC to MRSA. (BBC History Magazine.)

This is a fascinating cornucopia of cleanliness. (P. D. Smith. The Guardian.)

Smith's book, filled with offbeat erudition, is a fascinating journey through centuries. (Sunday Times.)

About the Author


Virginia Smith is a freelance historian who specializes in the history of personal hygiene. She was previously a Fellow of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, and is currently an honorary fellow of the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her current research interests include the history of cosmetics, spas, and nudity.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's a great study of the topic, touching on sociology, theology and psychology - but chiefly (as you'd expect) - on history. It takes us pretty much up to date, but I have to confess to feeling that the ending was both a little rushed and a little cursory. That said, the writing is intelligent, the examples plentiful and the scope of the work is unprecedented: so there's not much to argue with.
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Format: Hardcover
That review was created in November 2009 but was only published on the US site
Maybe I was expecting too much. The topic was an interesting one, but Virginia Smith drawns us into endless repetition ending either with a lieu commun or a far-fetched idea. As for the chronology, after of history implies some sort of chronology, it is just chaotic. The book lacks clarity of purpose.
At the end, I gave up and did not finish it
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives a good description of personal hygiene.-
I will put it in my library dedicated to cleaning and sanitation
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9c28e2c4) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c290f84) out of 5 stars Can I get to the end? 7 Mar. 2013
By Diccon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an unfair review insofar as I have only managed to get through about 10% of it. The question is whether I can face the remaining 90%. There is no doubt that the author has done considerable research but I find the narrative rambling and incoherent.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0925a0) out of 5 stars A disappointment 17 Nov. 2009
By Serge Berthier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe I was expecting too much. The topic was an interesting one, but Virginia Smith drawns us into endless repetition ending either with a lieu commun or a far-fetched idea. As for the chronology, after of history implies some sort of chronology, it is just chaotic. The book lacks clarity of purpose.
At the end, I gave up and did not finish it
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0924a4) out of 5 stars scholarly and interesting 24 Nov. 2009
By Denise Zottola - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I found Smith"s book enlightening. Certainly info from ancient and even early twentieth century was more interesting than later chapters addressing modern mores and trends, but that is to be expected. I enjoyed it!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bdf90a8) out of 5 stars Five Stars 13 May 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was in excellent condition and very enjoyable reading.
1 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bdfe69c) out of 5 stars Italy since 1796 and the rest 27 Jan. 2010
By Vittorio De Alfaro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am sorry; I entered this item - and the next one - without knowing exactly
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