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One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair Paperback – July 1, 2002


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One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair + Beard + The Facial Hair Handbook
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551521075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551521077
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Early cave paintings show Stone Agers plucking out facial hair with sea shells, suggesting that the decision to grow or not grow a beard is almost as old as human society itself. Allan Peterkin's One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair traces the beard's (and the razor's) storied past, including styles, regulations and cultural significance from the ancient Egyptians to the present day. The breezy and concise illustrated volume also covers the various religious meanings of beards, facial hair in gay culture, bearded ladies and the beard as interpreted by Freud. Peterkin includes instructions for washing, dying, trimming and shaving all kinds of beards from Amish-style to the Franz Josef.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

An entertaining and informative combination of a history, a documentary, an appreciation and a catalog.
—Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)

Touching on both the history and the psychological interpretations of this seemingly minor cultural cue, Peterkin analyzes the ever-changing shaving practices of celebrities, criminals, and carnival performers.
—Quill & Quire (Quill & QUire)

Full of fascinating detail, the book has an accessible tone suited to its subject.
The Globe & Mail (Globe & Mail)

Peterkin entertainingly follows many a revealing strand. . .
—Toronto Star (Toronto Star)

[This] is an entertaining book for those who boast facial hair and those who don't.
—Vancouver Sun (Vancouver Sun)

While Peterkin has fun with witty quips from poets, playrights, philosophers, and theologians through the centuries, he is also quite serious and instructive. . .
—ForeWord (ForeWord)

Peterkin carves a witty, thought-provoking read from his bewhiskered subject matter.
—Resonance (Resonance)

Jam-packed with beard-related sidebar quotations and facts and figures, One Thousand Beards is a trivia-lover's delight, and an essential reference for anyone giving a barber-college valedictory address.
—Fast Forward (Fast Forward)

This is the kind of information that can only make life happier, funnier, and a little bit more full. It not only freshly stocked my cache of trivia, but it opened my mind to the wealth of stories I can find in all of the places I would have never thought to look.
Worn Fashion Journal (www.wornjournal.com) (Worn Fashion Journal 2009-07-23)

More About the Author

Allan D. Peterkin is a Toronto-based physician and writer.
He has published picture books for children as well as books on cultural history and medicine. He is a founding editor of ARS MEDICA: A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities ( www.ars-medica.ca)and heads the Program in Health, Arts and Humanities at the University of Toronto
(www.health-humanities.com)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
I gave this book to some of my bearded friends, and they loved it.
Robert A. Ballantyne
A very interesting composition of those who made facial hair a part of their persona as well as being a part of the perception of those around them.
Suzanne C Tompkins
Nonetheless this is a delightful book that is comprehensive and smart - and also a lot of fun.
Eileen G.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Eileen G. on February 18, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Psychiatrist and writer Allan Peterkin has a playful and curious mind, and an obvious love of research. His past wanderings have taken him into the vagaries and varieties of the language of erotics, which he tackled enthusiastically - with a thesaurus, no less. The subject of beards is one that he admits he had never given much thought until one morning a few years ago.
His interest was piqued, he says in his introduction to this delightful book, in "one of those perverse moments of inspiration." Walking to work in downtown Toronto, "rather than indulging my own thoughts as usual," he started noticing faces, and he then noticed that more than a third of the males were in some fashion bearded, soul patched, sideburned, mustachioed - and so it began. He wanted to uncover the meanings of facial hair, the "unconscious reasons" that men grew and tended beards, and even the "ritualistic symbolism of shaving." He wondered what women thought about beards. His survey expanded to his colleagues, his psychotherapy patients, and strap-hangers on the Toronto subway. (You might guess that he asked his friends, too.) He was off and running.
This marvelous and generously-illustrated book is the result of his considerable ability to tackle his subject with energy, brainpower, humor and a sense of fun. It's a documentary, a history, a survey, an appreciation, and a catalogue. There are hundreds of black and white illustrations, and topical quotations from famous and not so famous beard-wearers. Chapter 6 deals with the (usually) unwanted thing: "The Feminine Beard." The compulsory beard (the Taliban being a recent and dramatic example of mandatory beardedness) is examined, too - in a chapter on religious beards.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Ballantyne on August 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I don't have a beard myself, but I know a lot of people who do, and this is a fascinating account of the history of facial hair that provides some interesting factoids and insight into the meaning of why some of us choose to wear hair on our faces. I gave this book to some of my bearded friends, and they loved it. It's a real winner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Horwitz on July 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Allan Peterkin is a genius and great historian. In order to write a book related to a cultural history of facial hair takes passion and commitment.

I just finished reading this book and found it fascinating, enlightening, educational, and historical. ONE THOUSAND BEARDS also had a brilliant editor. The content follows a pattern organizational content put together beautifully from the introduction to the bibliography.

Allan Peterkin gave me the opportunity to look up certain words that I did not know the meanings of. However, I completed reading the book first and underlined parts of its vocabulary. Instead of using the dictionary during my reading, I waited until I waited until I was finished digesting the entire content of ONE THOUSAND BEARDS.

This is not a four star book. It is worth ten stars. Forget about the 1992 publishing date. ONE THOUSAND BEARDS is current, to the point, and an incredible read.

I was so impressed with this book; I would consider it an honor if I could get my copy autographed by the author. Hopefully if Allan Peterkin reads my review he will contact me through Amazon and make my wish a reality.

I have a great deal of respect for its author. The only thing left to say is congratulations.
Steve Horwitz
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DetroitWeezie on November 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this as a gift for my husband. He has a beard and love history. It has all sorts of chapters about types of beards and how they came about. He enjoyed it and thought it was interesting. Some small images / sketches in it. Made a great gift.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Nevinsky on January 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a gift for two friends, and they really love it! One of them happens to be my roommate, so I get a chance to look at it whenever I please. It's not a book that you have to read cover to cover, you can open it up to any page and read a section of it. It has a lot of epic stories about people in history with facial hair...and plenty of pictures. It's a great read for anyone, man or woman, beard or no beard.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Jancarik Jr. on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book but for the ultimate, definitive source on the history of hairstyles you will need to splurge on the $100 book Fashions in Hair (2001-9th edition) by Richard Corson. Although it focuses on hairstyles for both men and women, the depth of information in that book is amazing, full of historical anecdotes and thousands of illustrations. It is certainly the ultimate, definitive source on the subject. Consider 1000 Beards the cliff notes version of that book, and a rather slim one at that.
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