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Poop Culture: How America Is Shaped by Its Grossest National Product Paperback – May 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps the greatest asset and the greatest weakness of the book is its breadth. The author covers many different approaches to the topic--from the psycho-social elements of poop (i.e. shame) to the history of the toilet to cultural symbolism to poop in art to the economic/ecologic effects of the way we as a society deal with our poop. It's at once odd and heartwarming to see a diagram of the best way to poop (squatting) or talk of South Park in the same book that also contains theoretical musings on Jonathan Swift and Marcel Duchamp.
Underneath the entertaining history and stories about poop there exist some fundamental and very important issues. For example, our culture's shame of defecation translates into a rather unhealthy and irrational way of dealing with poop on a practical level--as evidenced by our toilet and sewer design. Praeger provides some greener alternatives to the way things have been done in the past.
In short, this is the first book on poop since Dominique Laporte's history of French shit that I would call top notch. It's got interesting history, it's accessible (though I could do without some of the puns), it's got great illustrations (especially in the chapter on scatological art), and it puts Martin Luther, Milan Kundera, Rabelais, Wim Delvoye, and Mr. Hankey in stimulating conversation with one another.
Praeger sifts the pertinent literature, both contemporary and historical - much as one of the founding scatological fathers, Rabelais, mentions early modern apothecaries sifting through children's excrement during cherry season for the precious pits - and produces a learned yet humorously readable and engaging treatment for what is perhaps the most universal of Western neuroses, what sociologist David Inglis, cited by Praeger, terms the "bourgeois fecal habitus." Moreover, he has much of use to say on the environmental costs and ultimate unsustainability of that habitus, which, as he demonstrates, we have forced upon ourselves in the name of civilization.Read more ›
Enter David Praeger's 'Poop Culture,' a well-documented and researched, intellectual outing of a mostly-closeted subject. This book follows a timeline from our earliest, food-gathering ancestors and their completely laissez-faire attitude toward waste disposal through the development of privies and cesspits to the beginnings of our modern infrastructure/sewer systems and flush toilets.
There's also humor, medical advice and pop culture here, presented in a non-sensational, thoughtful manner with unique sociological and cultural perspectives. A healthful, enlightening read.
The program was hysterical. Even the skeptical boyfriend ended up admitting that it made for a really interesting and funny evening.
I had to have the book. I had to have it signed. He signed the book, "To Amy, my #2 fan. - Dave". Get it? And he does it in brown Sharpie. It doesn't get any better than that.
The book is amazingly well written. Not at all the "potty humor" that people might expect. It has an air of academia, a scattering of well placed sarcasm, and a level of wit not found in many humorous books - particuarly those written about such a unique subject.
I seriously think that our school literary system needs to be updated. Out with dusty old books like "Tale of Two Cities" and in with books like "Poop Culture". In reading this book (which is shorter than TOTC) you get exposed to lessons in anthropology, geography, history, psychology, economics, and myriad other topics. And, most importantly, you enjoy the scatological read.
Two thumbs waaaay up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Don't put off reading this book. This terrific book answers some questions left unanswered through our lifetime. So get straight with your common denominator, poop. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
Funny book with some good poop knowledge. If your in the mood for some funny crap you should give this book a try.Published on December 30, 2013 by AlmostEverything84
When I picked up this book, I expected and light and entertaining read full of fun facts about this somewhat gross topic. Read morePublished on August 15, 2013 by Ross Avilla
This book features some great references on how America has gotten to where it's at the toilet market - whether toilets or toilet paper. Provides history and lots of anecdotes. Read morePublished on May 16, 2013 by Amazon Customer
was well received as a gift; however, this may cause the bathroom be inaccessible for longer times! very interesting materialPublished on April 7, 2013 by LYNN
I found a lot of information on subject with extensive referance list. Poop in arts, philosophy, religion, psychology, movies, social studies is not everyday reading therfore it... Read morePublished on May 10, 2009 by Deborah M. Przedpelska
Not quite what I though it would be. Not my type of potty humor.Published on January 12, 2009 by Denise Andersen