Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form

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Penguin, Jun 29, 2004 - Science - 352 pages
1 Review
In this amusing and brilliantly conceived book, Michael Sims introduces you to your body. Moving from head to toe, Sims blends cultural history with evolutionary theory to produce a wonderfully original narrative in which he analyzes the visible parts of the body. In this fascinating brew of science and storytelling, readers encounter not only accessible explanations of the mechanics of their anatomy, but also the layers of mythology, religious lore, history, Darwinian theory, and popular culture that have helped to shape our understanding of any given body part. A titillating and unique book, Adam’s Navel is learned and entertaining, a marvelous lens through which to study the form we all inhabit—but may not really understand.
 

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Adam's navel: a natural and cultural history of the human form

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Sims (Darwin's Orchestra), who has written about science, culture, and the arts for various publications, here systematically assesses the exterior parts of the human form from head to toe ... Read full review

Contents

NEANDERTHALS YAWNED
THE MYSTERY OF THE VISIBLE
THE HAIR OF THE PROPHET
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
BURN IT OR BURY IT
SAMSONS HAIR
A METAPHYSICAL OPERATION
THE ETIQUETTE OF DECIDUOUSNESS
FINGER MATH
RULE OF THUMB
OUR NATAL AUTOGRAPH
TOBINS PALM
ON THE OTHER HAND
PLAYING CHESS WITH DEATH
BREASTS AND THE BREAST
VIA LACTIA

THE FAMILY FACE
THE FACE ON MARS
FLESH BECOMES A MIRROR
SUPERCILIOUS
THE BLINK OF AN EYE
THE DREAMING EYE
CLOSE YOUR EYES
THE EAR OF A THOUSAND LI
DARWINS POINTS AND HOUDINIS WIGGLE
NOR THE EAR FILLED WITH HEARING
LOUIS ARMSTRONGS LIPS
THE BADGE OF A HARLOT
A KISS IS JUST A KISS
THE NECESSARY AND AMBIVALENT TONGUE
DONT READ MY LIPS
A FREE HAND
THE SHEDEVIL FROM HOOTER CITY
TOPLESS
THE PILLOW OF PARADISE VERSUS THE MILLSTONE OF HISTORY
UNTYING THE KNOT
A BRIEF HISTORY OF NAVELGAZING
THE COMMOTION
VAGINA DIALOGUES
LEONARDOS INTELLIGENT ORGAN
BOSWELLS JOHNSON
THE SENATORS BODY HAIR
TWO LEGS GOOD AND BAD
THE SCARECROW LEARNS TO DANCE
THE GODDESS WITH BEAUTIFUL BUTTOCKS
TOES WITH SPECIAL PROPERTIES
PEDESTRIAN CROSSING
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About the author (2004)

Michael Sims is the author most recently of In the Womb: Animals (adapted from two National Geographic Channel documentaries); he is also the author of Apollo's Fire: A Journey through the Extraordinary Wonders of an Ordinary Day, which NPR chose as one of the best science books of 2007; Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form, which was a New York Times Notable Book and a Library Journal Best Science Book; and Darwin's Orchestra: An Almanac of Nature in History and the Arts. For Penguin Classics he also edited The Annotated Archy and Mehitabel and Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Thief, and he is currently editing The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime. He has written for many periodicals, from the Washington Post to New Statesman.

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