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The Tattoo History Source Book Paperback – December 1, 2000
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Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
A somewhat uneven quality of writing and of academic documentation mark this book. Even so, "Tattoo History: A Source Book" is an impressive work that reflects serious research, and it is a tour de force in comfortably handling material that ranges widely over time and space. On a subject that is so often dominated by photographs and essays that emphasize above all Japanese-style tattooing, it is a delight to learn as well of the long tradition of tattooing in the Pacific Isles, of the role tattoos played in the ancient Middle East, and of early 20th-century tattooing in the West. Gilbert's extensive use of source material--efectively translated from many languages--lends the book its gravitas and contributes significantly to his success in instilling in the reader an increased sense of respect for the tattoo arts.
Finally I should note that even if this book did not open new vistas for the reader, the essays which bookend "Tattoo History" would alone be worth the price of admission. Gilbert's opener, "Confessions of a Tattoo Addict," although but two pages in length, is an evocative essay that relates a fascination with tattoos to his coming of age in the 1940s. Meanwhile, the lengthier closing essay by Don Ed Hardy documents the resurgence of tattooing over the past several decades, the cultural cross-fertilization that has occurred, and the slow but growing acceptance of tattooing as a legitimate art form by the more conventional arts world.
Now the online version is available in print, with some additional information and photographs, published by Juno Books, a company founded by one of the former owners that gave us all the fantastic "ReSearch" publications. (Make sure you don't miss out on their "Modern Primitives"!)
Gilbert's book is unique and absolutely fantastic, the most in-depth book I have ever seen on the history of tattooing. It covers an incredible amount of historical and geographical aspects of tattooing (from New Zealand to Siberia and almost anywhere in between; though, unfortunately, the African Continent is completely left out).
Here are some of the chapters you'll find: - Origins - Discovery - Islands in the Pacific - Worlds Old & New (North America; South America; England, etc.) - Other Worlds (The Circus; Arabs, Jews & Christians; etc.) - Contemporary Contributions
At the very end of the book you'll find a recent interview with tattoo researcher Tricia Allen and an article entitled "Current Events" by none other than Don Ed Hardy, who has done so much for the development of tattooing over the past decades. (Don't miss out on his publications through his company Hardy Marks; incl. all the "Tattootime" issues.)
If you're interested in historical aspects of tattooing, this is the source book for you.
If there was ever a college class on the history of tattoos, this should be one of the required texts. The only thing that could make this better is if the book was actually divided into a series focusing on each area/timeframe and included more information. *hint hint*
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have a strange fascination with tattoos and this book only perpetuated that further. Every page is loaded with information and commentary about various cultures and their... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Matt Rosen
Overall, the historical review is above average to excellent. However, the writing is exceedingly dry and I had some difficulty reading this for more than 15-30 minutes at a time... Read morePublished 2 months ago by K
My boyfriend recently got his first two tattoos and is hooked. He is a history buff as well so I got him this book as a little gift and he LOVES it. Read morePublished 16 months ago by J.K.C.
I bought this for my sister who is a tattoo artist and she absolutely loved it. Specifically, she loved how the book flowed and did a great job of diving into the history of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jarius Von Gammathrust
Not much of a picture book. If you like reading there's a lot of great info. Well organized and easy to get hooked on.Published 18 months ago by Matt Holt
Very informative and interesting. Start your tattoo research with this book!Published 24 months ago by SkyClan8