This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Jaycee Allen for Readers' Favorite
The Clean Body by Peter Ward charts the history of personal cleanliness in the western world from the seventeenth century on, and it takes us through the homes and bathhouses of France, Germany, Italy, England, Austria, and North America. We know that today’s often excessive attention to personal grooming is the result of gradual change over the centuries, but in this fascinating book, we follow this evolution through the last four centuries, starting from the time when water was seen as dangerous, and nude bathing was a taboo — France’s Louis the XIV only bathed twice in his lifetime — when vaginal disorders, scabies, skin infections, a profusion of lice, and fleas were accepted as minor annoyances, and clean clothing was a refinement separating the middle classes from the lower ranks.
The nineteenth century’s cholera pandemics and the discovery (despite the blatant resistance of the medical corps) that by washing one's hands mortality could be reduced in hospitals did help to change attitudes. But, as Peter Ward points out, most influential were the newly-created soap companies. Soon, aggressive advertising techniques were being used to sell cosmetics, washing powders, deodorants, and to instill a fear of social rejection if these new grooming products were not used. The Clean Body by Peter Ward is not only beautifully written and minutely researched, but it is also easily an easily accessible and fascinating study and a most excellent reference book. And today when the influence of commercial products for cleanliness is finally being questioned — albeit by a marginal few — this very important book gives us all the perspective we need to see the modern obsession with grooming in its proper light.