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Bodywatching: A Field Guide to the Human Species Paperback – November 5, 1987

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At any one time, 90% of the hairs on your head are growing while 10% are inactive, with each hair obeying its own independent life cycle. Shakespeare wore a single earring in one ear, following popular custom. The nose is a voice resonator and bony shield to protect the eyes, in addition to being an organ of smell and taste. These are some of the facts found in this head-to-toe scrutiny of the human body by the author of The Naked Ape. Twenty chapters scan the brow, eyes, mouth, shoulders, breasts, genitals, legs, feet and so forth. This engrossing survey reflects the biases of the "naked ape" school of anthropology criticized by many scientists. Morris argues that baldness is a display signal indicating male dominance "because it is linked with high levels of sex hormone . . . and increases with advancing age." He claims that the female buttocks is the "probable" source of the valentine symbol. Questionable theories like these, often presented as fact, are sprinkled throughout. The 450 color and black-and-white photographs are fun. November 1
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grafton (November 5, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586202749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586202746
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,802,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Morris's trick here (as he states in the book) is to get us to look at the human body differently by having us see not the whole, but the parts. And Morris then proceeds to break down each and every part of the human body in depth. Ranging from the obvious (like hands) to the not so obvious (the beard), Morris uses profuse diagrams and photographs to illustrate how special and unique the details of each and every human being really is. Bodywatching is a wealth of knowledge about ourselves. If you are familiar with Morris's other writings, especially Manwatching, you might think that this book is just regurgitating old information, but that is far from the case. While Morris was concentrated on the masses of humans in books like Manwatching and The Naked Ape, in Bodywatching Morris is concerned with the individual alone. It is the difference between watching traffic at rush hour and watching the mechanic work on your car. This book will not fail to astonish even the most introspective person. This is truly a guide of self discovery which Morris has presented us with in Bodywatching.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely book as usual by that genius, Desmond Morris. I have this book on my coffee table for all to see and thumb through. I tell my friends they can't borrow it but are welcome to just discuss what they see in those most revealing photographs and captions. I am a physician and therefore given to habitually studying people, their expressions and mannerisms and I thoroughly enjoy the concepts revealed by Morris as to why people do what they do with their bodies and faces. After reading this book sitting in a mall and just watching people is so much more interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
No need to give great detail: this is simply a marvelous book. It will enlighten you to human behavior, and you will see the world with new eyes after you digest Desmond Morris's observations. Fabulous photographic illus trations. One of the best things about the book is that you can pick it up on any page and dabble in it. It might be called "a bible" of human behavior.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating stuff. This replaces one that was inadvertently tossed. Desmond Morris is a ground-breaking scholar and this was one of him most important books.
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