Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers by Giorgio Riello (Editor), Peter McNeil (Editor) [Palgrave Macmillan $49.95]
This hefty, richly illustrated book provides deliciously high-end thinking about that which embraces our lowest ends: from the most minimal of sandals of Classical Greece to the coarsest military boots worn in World War I; from the tiny shoes made for a Chinese woman’s cruelly bound foot to the impossibly towering, tottering “chopines” shoes of renaissance Venice; from the coveted suave of hip-hop trainers to the high tech running shoes of modern day marathoners. How we are shod throughout time and place speaks volumes about class, sexuality, and personality. This book is as meticulously crafted as men’s finest Italians, and as entertaining to contemplate as the most impossible of stilettos. Call it Foot for Thought for the cultural historian you love. [Amazon]
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