The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jun 4, 2003 - History - 144 pages
3 Reviews
To stripe a surface serves to distinguish it, to point it out, to oppose it or associate it with another surface, and thus to classify it, to keep an eye on it, to verify it, even to censor it.
Throughout the ages, the stripe has made its mark in mysterious ways. From prisoners' uniforms to tailored suits, a street sign to a set of sheets, Pablo Picasso to Saint Joseph, stripes have always made a bold statement. But the boundary that separates the good stripe from the bad is often blurred. Why, for instance, were stripes associated with the devil during the Middle Ages? How did stripes come to symbolize freedom and unity after the American and French revolutions? When did the stripe become a standard in men's fashion? "In the stripe," writes author Michel Pastoureau, "there is something that resists enclosure within systems." So before putting on that necktie or waving your country's flag, look to The Devil's Cloth for a colorful history of the stripe in all its variety, controversy, and connotation.
 

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User Review  - manadabomb - LibraryThing

I think this could have been a really great book but I felt that it fell a little short. It's a very small book, only about 90 pages, and it's lacking in pictures or illustrations that would have ... Read full review

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User Review  - Kellswitch - LibraryThing

A mildly interesting book, I find it fascinating how something as common place today as stripes was actually such a big deal in the past and how this colors our use without us even realizing it. I did ... Read full review

Contents

THE DEVIL AND HIS STRIPED CLOTHES
7
Heraldry and the Stripe
26
From the Domestic to the Romantic
41
To Stripe and to Punish
55
STRIPES FOR THE PRESENT TIME
63
Striped Surface Dangerous Surface
80
Bibliographic Orientation
93
Index
121
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Michel Pastoureau is a historian and director of studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne in Paris. A specialist in the history of colors, symbols, and heraldry, he is the author of many books, including "Blue" and "Black" (both Princeton) and "The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes." His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

Madeleine FerriA]res is professor of social history at the University of Avignon.

Jody Gladding is a published poet and the translator of several works, including "French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion,

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