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Download The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth, by Gideon Bosker, Lena Lenček Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (13 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gideon Bosker, Lena Lenček Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Here for the first time is the full story of the seashore: its natural and social history, spectacles, and scandals. The turquoise surf and sugary sand of the beach make it a favorite retreat today, but this wasn’t always so. The oceans of antiquity engendered contradictory feelings. Greek and Roman myths filled it with bellicose monsters and alluring sirens. Medieval Europeans feared immersion in water. But the rediscovery of its medicinal attractions in the seventeenth century soon glorified the beach as an avenue for social pursuits.

In this elegant and illuminating account, Lencek and Bosker chart the evolution of the seaside from the margins of civilization, when “exotic” meant remote and terrifying, to its present role as the center of recreation and escape. Sexuality, health, fashion, sport, beach architecture, and beachwear all have their place in the progression toward the beach resorts that represent nirvana for the twentieth-century pleasure seeker.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Scholarly and briskly good-humored.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A light and agreeable chronicle of the seashore.”

    Boston Globe

  • “This book should appeal to many readers because it is packed with good tidbits to ponder between naps on the beach.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “A valuable addition to the literature on the cultural politics of leisure-time activities.”

    Library Journal

  • “Lenček and Bosker are serious about the beach’s role in history and its appeal to the human imagination.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ticklish Owl | 8/30/2013

    " There were quite a few inconsistencies and scientific errors in the book, but I still enjoyed it. I think the book's intent was to focus on people and their perceptions, rather than scientific facts. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Renee | 6/22/2011

    " really i probably shouldn't put this on my "read" shelf because i did not finish it; it was tooooo boring! but i DID read EIGHTY-EIGHT pages before i quit, so, . . . . . . i am putting it as "read." i feel like just because i plodded through EIGHTY-EIGHT pages of BOREDOM i get to do that! : ~ "

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