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Animal
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 182

Animal

From the pet that we live with and care for, to news items such as animal cloning, and the use of various creatures in film, television and advertising, animals are a constant presence in our lives. Animal is a timely overview of the many ways in which we live with animals, and assesses many of the paradoxes of our relationships with them: for example, why is the pet that sits by the dinner table never for eating? Examining novels such as Charlotte’s Web, films such as Old Yeller and Babe, science and advertising, fashion and philosophy, Animal also evaluates the ways in which we think about animals and challenges a number of the assumptions we hold. Why is it, for example, that animals are such a constant presence in children’s literature? And what does it mean to wear fake fur? Is fake fur an ethical avoidance of animal suffering, or merely a sanitized version of the unacceptable use of animals as clothing? Neither evangelical nor proselytizing, Animal invites the reader to think beyond the boundaries of a subject that has a direct effect on our day-to-day lives.

Factory
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 224

Factory

Gillian Darley traces the history of the modern factory, from the utopian schemes of Robert Owen or Claude Ledoux in the early 19th century, through the great modernist "cathedrals of industry" of Peter Behrens, Albert Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Cockroach
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 200

Cockroach

  • Categories: Art

The cockroach could not have scuttled along, almost unchanged, for two hundred and fifty million years – some two hundred and forty-nine before man evolved – unless it was doing something right. It would be fascinating as well as instructive to have access to the cockroach’s own record of its life on earth, to know its point of view on evolution and species domination over the millennia. Such chronicles would perhaps radically alter our perceptions of the dinosaur’s span and importance – and that of our own development and significance. We might learn that throughout all these aeons, the dominant life form has been, if not the cockroach itself, then certainly the insect. Attempts t...

Fruitful Sites
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 240

Fruitful Sites

Gardens are sites that can be at one and the same time admired works of art and valuable pieces of real estate. As the first account in English to be wholly based on contemporary Chinese sources, this beautifully illustrated book grounds the practices of garden-making in Ming Dynasty China (1369–1644) firmly in the social and cultural history of the day. Who owned gardens? Who visited them? How were they represented in words, in paintings and in visual culture generally, and what meanings did these representations hold at different levels of Chinese society? Drawing on a wide range of recent work in cultural theory, Craig Clunas provides for the first time a historical and materialist account of Chinese garden culture, and replaces broad generalizations and orientalist fantasy with a convincing picture of the garden's role in social life.

Peacock
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 192

Peacock

Breathtakingly beautiful and exotic, the peacock inspires devotion among both artists and bird lovers. Its iridescent plumage, when fully displayed, is a delight to behold. The bird itself, as Christine E. Jackson notes in Peacock, appears to enjoy its audience, preening and strutting about within a few feet of humans. It is not surprising, then, that these vain birds and their distinctive feathers have been the prized possessions of kings for nearly three thousand years. Jackson here explores the peacock’s beauty—and its apparent attitude—through fairy tales, fables, and superstitions in both Eastern and Western cultures. Peacock takes stock of the bird as it appears within art, from the earliest mosaics to medieval illuminated manuscripts to modern graphics, with a special emphasis on the peacock’s symbolic value in the nineteenth-century arts and crafts and art nouveau movements. Jackson further details the peacock’s colorful presence in hats, clothing, and even sports equipment. A sweeping combination of social and natural history, Peacock is the first book to bring together all the shimmering, colorful facets of these magnificent birds.

History of Writing
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 352

History of Writing

From the earliest scratches on stone and bone to the languages of computers and the internet, A History of Writing offers a fascinating investigation into the origin and development of writing throughout the world. Commencing with the first stages of information storage, Fischer focuses on the emergence of complete writing systems in Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BC. He documents the rise of Phoenician and its effect on the Greek alphabet, generating the many alphabetic scripts of the West. Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese writing systems are dealt with in depth, as is writing in pre-Columbian America. Also explored are Western Europe's medieval manuscripts and the history of printing, leading to the innovations in technology and spelling rules of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Cheese
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 128

Cheese

Take a slice of bread. It’s perfectly okay in and of itself. Maybe it has a nice, crisp crust or the scent of sourdough. But really, it’s kind of boring. Now melt some cheese on it—a sharp Vermont cheddar or a flavorful Swiss Gruyere. Mmm, delicious. Cheese—it’s the staple food, the accessory that makes everything better, from the hamburger to the ordinary sandwich to a bowl of macaroni. Despite its many uses and variations, there has never before been a global history of cheese, but here at last is a succinct, authoritative account, revealing how cheese was invented and where, when, and even why. In bite-sized chapters well-known food historian Andrew Dalby tells the true and savo...

Bridge (Reaktion Books).
  • Language: en

Bridge (Reaktion Books).

  • Type: Book
  • -
  • Published: 2007
  • -
  • Publisher: Unknown

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Retro
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 187

Retro

Flares are in. Flares are out. Flares are back again. Fads constantly cycle and recycle through popular culture, each time in a slightly new incarnation. The term ‘retro’ has become the buzz word for describing such trends, but what does it mean? Elizabeth Guffey explores here the ambiguous cultural meanings of the term and reveals why some trends just never seem to stay dead. Drawing upon a wealth of original research and entertaining anecdotal material, Guffey unearths the roots of the term retro and chronicles its evolving manifestations in culture and art throughout the last century. Whether in art, design, fashion or music, the idea of retro has often meant a re-emergence of styles ...

Communist Posters
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 432

Communist Posters

One of the common features of communist regimes is the use of art for revolutionary means. Posters in particular have served as beacons of propaganda - vehicles of coercion, instruction, censure and debate - in every communist nation. They have promoted the authority of state and revolution, but have also been used as an effective means of protest. By their nature posters are ephemeral, tied to time and place, but many have had far-reaching, long-lasting impact. They are imbued with both artistic integrity and personal conviction - Bolshevik posters, for example, are among the most vibrant, passionate graphics in art history. 0This is the first truly global survey of the history and variety of communist poster art. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field, and examines a different region of the world: Russia, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. This beautifully illustrated, comprehensive survey examines the broad range of political and visual cultures of communist posters, and will appeal to a wide audience interested in art, history and politics.