ISBN13:978-0801862540 ISBN10: 080186254X This edition has also been released as: ISBN13: 978-0801857638 ISBN10: 0801857635
Summary: Face lifts, nose jobs, breast implants, liposuction, collagen injections -- the body at the end of the twentieth century has become endlessly mutable, and surgical alteration has become an accepted part of American culture. In Venus Envy, Elizabeth Haiken traces the quest for physical perfection through surgery from the turn of the century to the present. Drawing on a wide array of sources -- personal accounts, medical records, popular magazines, medical journals, an
d beauty guides -- Haiken reveals how our culture came to see cosmetic surgery as a panacea for both individual and social problems
Summary: Face lifts, nose jobs, breast implants, liposuction, collagen injections -- the body at the end of the twentieth century has become endlessly mutable, and surgical alteration has become an accepted part of American culture. In Venus Envy, Elizabeth Haiken traces the quest for physical perfection through surgery from the turn of the century to the present. Drawing on a wide array of sources -- personal accounts, medical records, popular magazines, medical journals, and beauty guides -- Haiken reveals how our culture came to see cosmetic surgery as a panacea for both individual and social problems ...show less
Edition/Copyright:97 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press Year Published: 1997 International: No
"Part history, part cultural/economic analysis, it explains better than anything else I've read what made American society so vulnerable to the seduction of the knife and the tyranny of visual conformity. As the idea of the perfect, ageless body becomes ever more dominant in our culture, it's important that we -- especially women -- understand how we've got ourselves into this mess. Venus Envy offers readable, perceptive answers."
--Sarah Dunant, The Times of London
"Original, well-researched, and a pleasure to read. It constitutes an astute analysis of the modern commodification of the body and the role of the medical profession in such developments."
--Roy Porter, Times Higher Education Supplement
"An informative, often engaging account of the history of cosmetic surgery in the United States."
"[A] very meaty history of plastic surgery. The relevant race and gender issues are thoroughly worked over (one chapter title: 'The Michael Jackson Factor'), and there are enough horror stories about leached silicone and Homely Girl contests to make one permanently swear off the scalpel."
"This book charts how millions have spent billions to enlarge or shrink body parts. Author Elizabeth Haiken has pitched a big tent. Plastic surgery embraces self-enhancement, prejudice, greed, submission and opportunity. This is about life in a democracy, where (for a price) any boy can be president and any girl can be Miss America."
--Kate Callen, San-Diego Union-Tribune
"Haiken has written a humane, balanced history of cosmetic surgery, drawing with sensitivity and deftness on impressive archival sources, including surgeons' folders on prospective patients... Her book is a first-class exercise in medical history, raising intriguing questions about normalization, ideological manipulation, gender, ethnicity, and the profit motive in medicine."
--Richard Davenport-Hines, Nature
"What makes Venus Envy such an enthralling read is that alongside a host of macabre and 'no--really!' stories... there is a hugely intelligent and perceptive analysis of American culture and history going on."
Johns Hopkins University Press Web Site, April, 2001
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