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The Bra in America

Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau

264 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 51 illus.
Paper 2002 | ISBN 9780812218350 | $26.50s | Outside the Americas £19.99
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"Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau have collaborated to produce a minor miracle: an informal yet comprehensively researched work of history and sociology that isn't dull, isn't pretentious, isn't politically correct (or incorrect), and that's fun to read as well as being instructive."—Robert Gottlieb, New York Observer

"In this good-humored yet careful examination, Farrell-Beck and Gau illuminate women's experience of this most everyday garment. . . . A fun, punchy book."—Publishers Weekly

"Uplift is extremely well-researched, and is significantly better than previous histories of the brassiere."—Valerie Steele, Fashion Institute of Technology

Over the years the bra has been stereotyped as an object of seduction, glamour, and even oppression. In Uplift: A History of the Bra in America Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau use this item of clothing to gauge the social history of women and to understand the business history of fashion. Viewing fashion as a means to entertainment, self-creation, and everyday art, the authors illuminate the effect the brassiere has had on women's lives—their style, health, and economic opportunity.

Rich in examples from advertising, movies, and other areas of popular culture, Uplift moves beyond featherbones and fiberfill to provide a sense of the dynamic relationship of the bra to wider issues in society.

Jane Farrell-Beck is Professor of Textiles and Clothing at Iowa State University. Colleen Gau is President of CPRTex, Inc., a home-based conservation of textiles business and the author of articles on clothing and health.

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