The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth

By Lena Lenu010dek and Gideon Bosker
Read by Nadia May

13.12 Hours 01/01/1999 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781482113501

Here for the first time is the full story of the seashore: its natural and social history, spectacles, and scandals. The turquoise surf and sugary sand of the beach make it a favorite retreat today, but this wasn’t always so. The oceans of antiquity engendered contradictory feelings. Greek and Roman myths filled it with bellicose monsters and alluring sirens. Medieval Europeans feared immersion in water. But the rediscovery of its medicinal attractions in the seventeenth century soon glorified the beach as an avenue for social pursuits. In this elegant and illuminating account, Lencek and Bosker chart the evolution of the seaside from the margins of civilization, when “exotic” meant remote and terrifying, to its present role as the center of recreation and escape. Sexuality, health, fashion, sport, beach architecture, and beachwear all have their place in the progression toward the beach resorts that represent nirvana for the twentieth-century pleasure seeker.

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Summary

Summary

Here for the first time is the full story of the seashore: its natural and social history, spectacles, and scandals. The turquoise surf and sugary sand of the beach make it a favorite retreat today, but this wasn’t always so. The oceans of antiquity engendered contradictory feelings. Greek and Roman myths filled it with bellicose monsters and alluring sirens. Medieval Europeans feared immersion in water. But the rediscovery of its medicinal attractions in the seventeenth century soon glorified the beach as an avenue for social pursuits.

In this elegant and illuminating account, Lencek and Bosker chart the evolution of the seaside from the margins of civilization, when “exotic” meant remote and terrifying, to its present role as the center of recreation and escape. Sexuality, health, fashion, sport, beach architecture, and beachwear all have their place in the progression toward the beach resorts that represent nirvana for the twentieth-century pleasure seeker.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Scholarly and briskly good-humored.” New York Times Book Review
“A light and agreeable chronicle of the seashore.” Boston Globe
“This book should appeal to many readers because it is packed with good tidbits to ponder between naps on the beach.” Amazon.com, editorial review
“A valuable addition to the literature on the cultural politics of leisure-time activities.” Library Journal
“Lenček and Bosker are serious about the beach’s role in history and its appeal to the human imagination.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Lena Lenček

Lena Lencek specializes in popular culture and has cowritten more than nine books, including Patio Daddy-O and Making Waves. Lencek is a professor of Russian at Reed College and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Gideon Bosker

Gideon Bosker specializes in popular culture and has cowritten more than nine books, including Patio Daddy-O and Making Waves. He is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 13.12
Audience: Adult
Language: English