The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis argues the relationship between culture and language. People defending this theory point to the large number of words Eskimos have for snow, illustrating myriad uses the culture has for the cold, wet stuff. It's odd that people look to Eskimos and snow to support the language-reflects-culture theory when a more obvious example is so close at hand. In The Breast Book: An Intimate and Curious History, authors Maura Spiegel and Lithe Sebesta come up with nearly 400 English (more accurately American) names for breasts.
The short is, in a word, stacked, with information (and better puns) about the dynamic duo that goes far beyond
The book features over 600 photographs and an equally impressive number of quotes to tell the story of the breast. We meet the many personalities of boobs and see them change and flourish within a multitude of styles and fashions. It's not all sex, not by a long shot: In a section entitled "Prize Paps'" readers are introduced to Judith Waterford, whose 50-year stint as a wet nurse was noted in medical journals in 1831. As a young woman, Waterford produced two quarts of milk a day, and on her 81st birthday she demonstrated that she could still squeeze "nice, sweet' milk from her left breast."
We go from puberty - "the first day of the rest of your life" - to negligee and nipple rings to mountain ranges
| THE BREAST BOOK: AN INTIMATE AND CURIOUS HISTORY |
By Maura Spiegel and Lithe Sebesta
Workman Publishing Company
$13.95, 480 pages
A portion of author royalties and publisher profits benefit breast cancer research
It's not the owner's manual that your - or your lady's - boobs failed to come with, but it does offer vast insight and technical information. It's odd though, after reading the book I still think about breasts a lot ... and not in an entirely different way than I had before I picked up the book. •