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Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa Paperback – October 10, 2000
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"Brilliant--. A masterful blend of history and contemporary issues."--Journal of Social History
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Top Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed the histories of the individual "fasting girls." And Ms. Brumberg's description of the Victorian middle class was priceless and eye opening, considering how that era is so romantizied by a lot of us today.
The book revealed so much about how culture (present and past) shapes our opinions of ourselves, especially us women. Reading the book brought out my anger that society and culture expect women to have "perfect" bodies..."perfect" everything, and the pressure that is on us, both as teenagers and adults.
I recommend this book to anyone who would like to know more about anorexia nervosa and its history. There is a great deal of fascinating information. Just keep your dictionary handy to look up all the medical terms Brumberg quotes (and for some of her own words as well). My only disappointment in the book was that it ended too abruptly. Her book had me hooked, and then, finally, it had to end. I think there is a great deal more to be said about this disease, and I hope that she keeps up with the history and maybe writes another volume. Kudos to you, Ms. Brumberg. Very well done.
When they brought in a girl who was probably 5'8" and weight 78 pounds, it was fascinating to see the guys in the class who were normally very vocal and aggressive, totally shut up! From behind she looked like someone from a Nazi concentration camp, yet she continued to consider herself 'fat'. When she left, the MD had the nerve to turn around and tell the boys, that basically...anorexia was the fault of men. All of us were stunned. He put up an obviously much used power point slide showing the weights of women in both Playboy magazines and in the Miss USA pageant from the beginning to that year (1997). The line was steep and steady from the upper left-hand corner of the slide to the bottom right corner of the slide. This was the change in weight of the women who were participating in these 'endeavors' that the MD said were run by men (it was a male MD). Then he went further and said...most women's magazines are still mainly male bastions, as is the fashion industry both here and in Europe. The men in the class were absolutely horrified (and the women were thrilled that someone had the nerve to say this to them!)
This outstanding book is a must read for anyone going into psychology, neuroscience, working with adolescents, education, public health, etc. I've read few books with such deep understanding as to the history and ramifications of social mores on young women and girls.Read more ›
The subtle strength of this book is its format for discussing disease development in a social and political context. Anyone interested in disease etiology beyond simply the biochemical approach should also read this book, as a guide to how to put disease in a realistic context.
Brilliant all round!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is an interesting rebuttal of the idea that anorexia was "created" by our beauty-obsessed culture. Not true. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am a clinical psychologist who recently finished reading, Fasting Girls, and WOW, what an awesome book! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jennifer May, Ph.D.
I read this book for research purposes and found much to support and augment my research. Beyond that however, this was such a compelling read! Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by Susan Bailey
Thanks to the author for such hard work! Anorexia is a disease causing an increased public interest today and, as a result, fouling a variety of rumors. Read morePublished on July 6, 2011 by Julia L
If you know someone suffering from an eating disorder and think this problem has only been around since the late 70's, reading this book will be a great eye opener. Read morePublished on May 23, 2011 by MJK
I never knew the history of anorexia nervosa, but it would make sense. Throughout history if someone behaved differently then mainstream society, that behavior needed to be... Read morePublished on September 10, 2010 by L. J. Smith
This book has a lot of great info in it. I enjoyed reading it and found a lot of it to be new information.Published on July 29, 2008 by Reak Kovacs
This book was very well done.
I had previously read a book like it called "From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls" which was written in the manner of a stuffy academic. Read more