The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1999 - Nature - 310 pages
Turquoise water, pillowy sand, and a warm, salty breeze -- today the beach is regarded as the best possible place to restore body and soul. However, this has not always been the case. In other centuries the beach was considered a remote, terrifying wasteland on the margins of civilization. In their entertaining, elegant, and illuminating account, Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker trace the four-billion-year evolution of the place where land, water, and humans meet.

Embedded in the narrative are the histories of sexuality, health, fashion, sport, the rise of the great resorts -- St. Tropez, Catalina, Newport, Miami Beach -- and the beach tales of Columbus, D-Day troops, and castaways Cook, Melville, and Swinburne. Including a marvelous selection of images evoking the beach's hypnotic appeal -- Impressionist paintings, archival photographs, advertising art, and postcards -- and an Appendix of the world's most beautiful, unspoiled beaches, The Beach will fascinate any reader from Coney

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THE BEACH: The History of Paradise on Earth

User Review  - Kirkus

A husband-and-wife team of popular-culture experts provides a lively celebration of the beach, "nature's most potent antidepressant." Len—ek (The Antic Alphabet, 1994) and Bosker, professors of ... Read full review

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User Review  - ABVR - LibraryThing

A nifty history of the beach's role in (mostly) European culture from antiquity to the present, tracing the evolving perception of the beach from "wilderness" to "retreat for the wealthy (or the ... Read full review

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