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Download Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History Audiobook, by Florence Williams Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (654 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Florence Williams Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781452677606
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Did you know that breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis? Or that it's sold on the Internet for 262 times the price of oil? Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier, and attracting newfangled chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer, even among men. What makes breasts so mercurial—and so vulnerable?In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon's office where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas to the laboratory where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk. The result is a fascinating exploration of where breasts came from, where they have ended up, and what we can do to save them. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • [A] remarkably informative and compellingwork of discovery. Booklist Starred Review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaela | 2/1/2014

    " This is a fascinating and sobering book (still with a sense of humor and irony) about the place of breasts in medical and scientific understanding, their role in the immune system across generations, and their evolutionary purpose. Recommended for anyone on the fence about implants, anyone who knows someone with breast cancer, anyone with children (including the men). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexis Goebel | 1/29/2014

    " interesting & disturbing look at that which makes humans different from every other animal (mammals included): our breasts. It explores the biases and even hesitations science has about studying a topic that makes men turn into 15 year old boys. Beyond its well told history is the ever-present fact of estrogenic chemicals in our food, cosmetics, furniture, cleaning supplies, et al that has made breast cancer so prevalent in our modern america. Good, freaky read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 1/28/2014

    " What a fascinating book. Although it does make you want to lie around naked, not touch anything, or drink anything. It was surprisingly humorous, educational, and well-balanced. A well-recommended read, but not for those already fearful of the environmental toxins around us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruce | 1/24/2014

    " Very informative, well written, but at times it strays far from the main subject (even though that info is worth reading) and in early parts of the book the author strains a bit too hard for "breezy accessibility"--to the detriment of the points being made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 1/22/2014

    " I love this. So well written, so funny and so important for all modern women. I got a little bored with all the statistics in the middle, and some of the info sounds conflicting (but that may just serve to prove how complicated the research and science really is). Regardless, i think this is a book that should be on every woman's bookshelf. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Pappas | 1/3/2014

    " A focus on function over form. A better title - Breasts: The Mystery that will kill you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edna | 12/29/2013

    " Fascinating read. Learned a lot but had to take breaks while reading becuase i kept reading labels on everything and throwing things away. Also, feel I should schedule a mammogram... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 robin | 12/7/2013

    " Best science book I've read in ages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katrina | 12/3/2013

    " Williams writes in the same style as Roach which is awesome but sometimes, just like in Roach's books, it bogs down the book. But overall this is an excellent book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Mirvis | 11/25/2013

    " Quite a bit was interesting, but I found it to be more about environmental toxins than I had anticipated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Watson | 11/2/2013

    " I loved this book! It really opened my eyes to an organ I don't pay much attention to. I didn't know how she could write an entire book on the subject but she filled it with some really amazing statistics and information. A must read for every woman! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elyse | 9/28/2013

    " it was interesting and written with humor but far too technical for my taste. and made me feel like I should have gotten pregnant at 18 and live in a bubble in order to avoid breasted cancer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Britta Duncan | 7/30/2013

    " Clearly written, but delightful to read! As a nursing mother, I learned a lot! Highly recommend to anyone who has a pair:) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine Jewett | 1/20/2013

    " More emphasis of the medical history than anything else, IMHO, and it wasn't as feminist as I had hoped. Also, she is a kind of middle-of-the-roader as far as politics and environmentalism are concerned. Kind of wishy-washy. But a quick, intelligent read. I wish she had used PROPER footnotes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracey | 1/1/2013

    " Evidently, everything in the world and everything one does will damage your health via your breasts. Also, the whole cosmetic-augmentation thing depresses me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 12/5/2012

    " The subject matter is more interesting than the author's occasionally dry, occasionally cutesy writing style. Several typos and no in-text notes didn't help. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 12/5/2012

    " Mandatory read for every person. Writing style is fun and snappy even when dealing with some of the harsher truths. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 10/14/2012

    " This book was very good & important, but also terrifying. (*Note: I did lazily skim portions that were very wordy and/or sciencey...I read for pleasure, yo!) Overall, I do highly recommend it for those who own breasts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Judson | 10/12/2012

    " Enjoyed the subject matter as it was very pertinent at the time I was reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 9/25/2012

    " Oh man. I said "wow" a lot reading this. It was super interesting and a bit terrifying. More women should read it, and probably more men too. I think it will definitely change some of my behavior because the science is pretty persuasive. "

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About the Author

Florence Williams is a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado’s Journalism School, a contributing editor at Outside magazine, and a freelance writer for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, Mother Jones, and numerous other publications.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received thirty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.