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Comment: Dispatched same day from UK. Uncreased spine, light shelf wear to the cover, a small curl and rubbing to the corners of the cover, a small curl to the top corner of the first few pages, a small curl to the book, very lightly marked page edges, internally the pages are very clean tight and unmarked.
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One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair Paperback – 1 Mar 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards (NPG Short Histories)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (1 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551521075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551521077
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 442,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

The Hairy Truth Behind the Mustache, the Beard, the Goatee and the Sidebar; Every man has the capacity to grow facial hair, but the decision to do so has always come with many layers of meaning. Facial hair has traditionally marked a passage into manhood, but its various manifestations have been determined by class, religious belief, historical precedent, and occupational status. Beards have at one time or another come to represent wisdom, goodness, sorcery, diabolism, psychological depth, and revolution; they have been purchased, elaborately trimmed, adorned, and dyed, and deracinated as a form of torture. To this day, the act of displaying facial hair is regarded as a form of ultimate cool. With wit and insight, One Thousand Beards explores the historical meaning of beards, mustaches, sideburns, and other forms of facial hair, from Freud's psychoanalytic interpretation, to a wild trip through history, to a rogue's gallery of famous bearded or mustached men, including Abraham Lincoln, Joseph Stalin, Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean, and Yosemite Sam.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One Thousand Beards: Alan Peterkin
Subtitled "A Cultural History of Beards", the big problem with this book is that it doesn't really know what it wants to be: Cultural History, Guidebook, Series of personal anecdotes and observations. Sadly, it fails to be any of these things successfully, largely as a result of the author attempting to be far too clever with his material.
Peterkin has an irritating writing style and a careless disregard for either "Cultural Studies" (which is how the book is categorised, according to the publisher) or his source material. The book is full of errors, some factual - such as the twice repeated assertion that the word "barbarism" is derived from the latin word for beard, when a glance at any etymology of the English language clearly states that it comes from the Greek for "babbler" - some typographic, and some which show a complete lack of understanding of the subject matter - such as describing King Edward II of England as "gay": a construct that was not invented until around the second half of the twentieth century.
The writing is peppered with "smart" asides - some relevant, most irrelevant - and personal anecdotes, though what grates most is the author's stomach-turning political correctness. His unwillingness to say anything that might offend makes any attempt at analysis worthless. (Dare I make a non-PC aside and say "typically Canadian"?)
One final point: the book twice makes reference to a 1955 publication "Beards - Their Social Standing, Religious Involvements, Decorative Possibilities and Value in Offence and Defence Through the Ages" by one Reginald Reynolds.
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Format: Paperback
One Thousand Beards is a funny book. That's funny - ha-ha. It's not a serious historical dissertation (how can you be serious about bearded ladies, Freudian (phallic) meaning of beards and the impact of whiskers on the destiny of nations?). There are DREARY, ponderous tomes on the topic (Reynolds volume mentioned by the previous reviewer being but one example)- this is not one of them. This book is smart (at times clever), well written and (did I mention?) funny. So maybe it is typically Canadian - in the same way Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis and Jim Carey are. This lively, informative volume is not reccomended for typically academic (public school, a pickle up the proverbial) readers. Normal people with a sense of humour will enjoy it for sure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting book on beards and moustaches, the history of, to present day.
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