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Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo, 3rd Edition Paperback – January 15, 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo, 3rd Edition + The Tattoo History Source Book + Spiritual Tattoo: A Cultural History of Tattooing, Piercing, Scarification, Branding, and Implants
Price for all three: $52.47

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: powerHouse Books; 3rd edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576876136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576876138
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a heavily updated and resplendently illustrated third edition."
-New York Times

"The first conclusive study of women and tattoos Bodies Of Subversion: A Secret History Of Women And Tattoos by Margot Mifflin has been released, and it shows that love 'em or hate 'em tattoos are on the up."
-Grazia (UK)

"Margot Mifflin's newest edition of Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo pasy rightful homage to the foremothers of tattoos and highlights modern goddesses."
-Inked

"
Seeing all these tattooed ladies make us want to go out and get inked!"
-Paper online

About the Author

Margot Mifflin writes about women, art, and contemporary culture. She has written for The New York Times, ARTnews, Entertainment Weekly, The Believer, and Salon.com, and she lectures about body modification at colleges, museums, and universities nationally. Mifflin is an associate professor in the English Department of Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and directs the Arts and Culture program at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism, where she also teaches. Her book, The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman was published by The University of Nebraska in 2009.

More About the Author

Margot Mifflin writes about women, art, and contemporary culture. The author of "Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo" (Powerhouse Books, 1997 and 2013), she has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, ARTnews, Salon.com and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Mifflin is a professor in the English Department of Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY)and co-directs the Arts and Culture program at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism, where she also teaches. Her book, "The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman" was published by The University of Nebraska in 2009.

Mifflin has appeared as a lecturer and keynote speaker at dozens of colleges, universities and museums, including Barnard College, Parsons School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Los Angeles MOCA and The Brooklyn Museum of Art. She appeared in MSNBC's documentary, "Women and Tattoo," and CNN's "Women of the Ink." She lives in Nyack, New York.

Customer Reviews

The book is extremely well written and researched and the photos are fabulous.
TexasGirl
Margot Mifflin's book is an amazingly well-documented and thoroughly acurate telling of the secret history of tattooed women and women tattoo artists in America.
Pat Fish of Tattoo Santa Barbara
And i have read every book i could get my hands on regarding the subject and very few have been as interesting as this read.
mary

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Pat Fish of Tattoo Santa Barbara on March 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Margot Mifflin's book is an amazingly well-documented and thoroughly acurate telling of the secret history of tattooed women and women tattoo artists in America. I was interviewed extensively for this subject, and throughout the year she was gathering material I watched as Mifflin's knowledge and understanding of her subject matter grew.
Contrary to another UNSIGNED review posted here, I believe the women quoted are proud to have been included and I have not heard ONE of my peers complain about it.
Many people feel that tattooing has experienced a huge upsurgence of popularity in the last decade, but until this book most will not have had the perspective to realise just how common it was for your Grandma to have slipped off to get a wicked little something, possibly a secret only she and her husband shared. It is women's willingness to boldly display their tattoos, NOT their enthuisiasm for body art, that has changed.
Margot Mifflin brought her experience as an investigator with a feminist perspective to the organization of a vast wealth of material, helped by many of the important members of the tattoo community. We knew that this was unlikely to be a book one of us would write, and it most definately needed to be written.
From the circus ladies who chose to exhibit themselves as art to the educated graphic artists of today who choose tattooing as their art medium, the women of ink are grateful.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By tat2dbroad on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a heavily tattooed woman, I am constantly searching out the archives for great books regarding the subject. I've read some pathetically boooooring books in my day, but not only was this book exciting, but incredibly accurate as well. I particularly enjoyed the vintage photos of the earliest women to experience the needle...I am a first-hand example of familiarity with the stigma attached to beautiful women with beautiful tats, I can't even imagine the stigma held in the early 1900's...A great read for females AS WELL AS MALES just looking to brush up on some inkin' history or seeking out a career in the industry...
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By TexasGirl on June 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a relatively newly tattooed woman, I have embraced the culture and am looking to learn more about it. This book showed me what it was like for women with tattoos through the ages. The book is extremely well written and researched and the photos are fabulous. If you are a woman who has tattoos or is thinking about getting one, I highly recommend this book. I work in an extremely conservative environment and was brought up to believe tattoos are evil and dirty, so I struggled with my decision to get my tattoos, but this book not only made me feel more comfortable with my decision, it helped me with new ideas for my backpiece :)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. Kohen on April 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ok, I love women and I love tattoos. While my "woman" history is nobody's business but my own, I can say that I got my first tattoo at age 52 (8 years ago--you do the math) and now have a body full. Early on in my tat career, I devoured every book and mag I could find, looking for ideas (some would say "validation") and, frankly,got tired of the semi-salacious boob shots. I KNEW there was more to it than that (not that I mind boob shots, but that's another review)and this book really tells the story. While every woman under 40, and a good many over 50, that I meet has ink somewhere on her body these days, this book discusses the historical precedents in interesting and informative ways. It won't convert a "tattoo hater", and it won't be even remotely interesting to someone who isn't fascinated by tats, but those of us who are decorated MUST have this one in the library, betweenThe Tattooed Woman and Masters of Tattoo.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. Miller on April 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must-read for anyone interested in getting a fuller history of tattooing. The book does an excellent, well-balanced job of weaving biographies and social commentary regarding tattoos and tattoo-ers. And it's a story that must, to be fully inclusive, tell of women's involvement in this art, both as tattoo-ers and tattoo-ees. I had no idea this art form went back so far as it does for western female tattoo afficionados. It's a fascinating story that's seldom told or discussed. It appears that nothing is held back in terms of the whys and hows that these women came to acquire their tattoos, or to have become tattoo-ers. And it's a great missing segment in women's history, and art history for that matter, that needs more exposure (no pun intended) to help dispell the myths and prejudices about women with tattoos. This is a great, ancient art form that deserves more expression, appreciation and respect by the general public, especially in the United States where folks are just too uptight and puritanical about this kind of art.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AlleyCat on June 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough great things about this book! It is filled with fascinating stories of women in the past and present. These women come from all over, with all different backgrounds. The photos are are stunning. I keep this on the coffee table, and its fun to see who picks it up when you leave the room!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "heaterbuzz" on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
For some reason, the art and culture surrounding tattoo is still considered a male interest. Seeing as most of my friends interested in and displaying tattoos are female, this stigma obviously must change. Margot's book tells amazing stories and documents a "secret" North American history that deserves more exposure. Having had the pleasure to meet Margot and host a Q&A with her in Toronto, I can say that she is one of the most intriguing and down to earth people around. Her honest curiosity on the subject gave her research a simple, refreshing perspective that shows through in the book. Anyone interested in tattoo (male or female) and/or North American history of pop culture needs this book!
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