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Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by…

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (2012-05-07) (edition 1856)

by Florence Williams (Author)

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2331378,376 (3.77)3
An engaging narrative about an incredible, life-giving organ and its imperiled modern fate.
Title:Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (2012-05-07)
Authors:Florence Williams (Author)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1856)
Collections:Your library
Tags:Breasts, History, health

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Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams


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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
The cultural history of the breast with science added to the story. It tells the difference between humans and other mammals regarding breasts. It also explains the stages breast go through from birth to death as well illness such as cancer.

I found this book fascinating. I liked how breasts were given a context in history but I found her going through the life stages of breasts so interesting that if I fell asleep I would relisten to the chapter. At times the narrative gets bogged down in scientific names and numbers especially on how outside chemicals affect breast milk and how it affects babies but it is information that is important. Going through cancer was also an interesting and important section for men also.

I'm glad I listened to it. I plan on listening again. There is so much information within this book. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Jan 14, 2020 |
I didn't love
  JoshSapan | May 29, 2019 |
Crunchy, crunchy, crunchy book. I could pour some milk on it and eat it for breakfast, it was that crunchy. The author, Florence Williams, is a self proclaimed "granola girl," and the back flap says she is a contributing editor of Outside magazine, so fair enough, I guess, but damn she had me fooled with the subtitle "a natural and unnatural history." It should have been "Breasts: if you think they evolved as a sexual display you are fooled by patriarchy, and chemicals give you breast cancer and "They" don't care, chemicals get into your breast milk and... are you breast feeding? you should be breastfeeding even if you had "breast fever" three times like I did because breast feeding is the best, and did I mention chemicals are bad yet, and if you get breast implants you are... Texan!" gasp hiss

It gets kinda tiring. It was pretty relentless. You can tell she tried to hold back a little, like "Okay, I'm not writing for Outside right now gotta temper it a bit" but it still popped through in really weird places. Like, going to the farmers market in Colorado and talking about how she had to ask the sellers if the food ever touched plastic and haha they didn't look at her too weird isn't Colorado awesome... the cafeteria lady doesn't serve chicken nuggets and hamburgers only once a month she worships her (I felt like I was missing part of the story here, were they trucked in directly from McDonalds or were they just ground beef/chicken, and if that is a problem please tell me instead of it being some hippie dog whistle. she doesn't directly tell you anything about that)... and she mentions how she refused even an OTC pain pill after giving birth, so uh... congratulations on that? what?

Granted stuff like that is not much of the book, and most of it was well-researched and easy to read. But the... "memoirishness" of this sort of journalism doesn't work for me. It's like, I'm sorry, but I didn't read this book to spend time with you. I don't even like you. Can we go back to what the book was about, please.

But I admit though I am agrumentative towards books. It's like before I read them I tell 'em, "well, let's see just what the hell you think you are, then," with arms crossed and eyelids lowered. well.

Interesting slate article on why it's not the best idea to think human evolution is just like, guys choosing to have sex with the hottest chicks. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
The research is obviously there, but this took me so long to finish. I can understand what an undertaking it is to have all this data and try to present it in a layman-consumable way. One usual method to get reader interest and sympathy, and the one I saw used here, is for the author to intersperse the scientific reportage with personal anecdotes, to show how these topics are intimately relevant, in effect the author representing the Everywoman. She has taken it upon herself to use her journalistic savvy find some answers, and share them with her kinswomen. Unfortunately, the answers are confusing, contradictory and leave one feeling panicked and hopeless. It's a cancer roulette. You can try to weed out all the plastics, flame retardants, etc. in your life, but with our world the way it is, it's like fighting a losing battle. But she shares our feelings. Like the author, we can only hope for the speedy advancement of breast research, and-- probably the only solid takeaway I could find-- learn how to properly give yourself a breast exam. The only other thing we normal citizens can do is promote awareness, and at the very least this is what the book accomplishes. If you want an entertaining non-fiction read, go for Bryson or Roach. If you want the sad facts that make you feel like covering your defenseless, disease-susceptible breasts protectively ("Dear My Boobs: You poor things. I love you girls. Thanks for being here for me despite all the dangers.") here they are. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
EVERYTHING and then some (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWN) you've ever wanted and not wanted to know about female human mammary glands. "An engaging narrative about an incredible, life-giving organ and it's imperiled modern fate"

The book is cataloged 612.664, right in there w/ medical information...... and personally, I couldn't quite figure out what what was so "engaging" about this book.

I didn't know you could have your breast milk tested in Germany for fire-retardants & other chemicals and that American women test 10-100 times higher than European women. Also did you know, that breast milk contains a cannabis like substance in it? I didn't either.

I had never heard (and hope to never again hear) breasts called: "Dingle Bobbers" (which I was sure was a term for male anatomy), Jellybonkers, or Chumbawumbas (Come on, Really?).

But if you want the scoop on the health hazards that make breasts endangered, then by all means read this book. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Florence Williamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reading, KateReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emmert, AnneÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Penguin Australia

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