Aarathi Prasad

Teoksen Silk: A World History tekijä

5 teosta 105 jäsentä 4 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

Silk: A World History (2024) 46 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Silk (2023) 9 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu

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nonfiction, historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, history-and-culture, history-trivia, lepidoptery, cloth-and-clothing, fashion, science-nerd, scientist, scientific-method, research-and-development*****

A historical/scientific perspective on the natural production and a global perspective of silk throughout many civilizations over the course of time. It is a fantastic textbook filled with related facts (think Chinese Dynasties to parachute silk) interspersed with fun tidbits to keep the student on track. Think history meets science meets lepidoptery meets fashion. It is very detailed and hardly the sort of thing to read in one sitting. This book packs an amazing amount of material between its covers and should be reread at measurable intervals. There are reproductions of historical lithographs.
I requested and received a temporary EARC from William Morrow via NetGalley. Thank you!
Think about getting a copy for your local public library, too!
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jetangen4571 | Mar 17, 2024 |
This was chosen by Patricia Fara, Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and columnist at History Today, as one of History Today’s Books of the Year 2023.

Find out why at
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HistoryToday | Nov 24, 2023 |
I downloaded this from my library's ebook collection because of Suzanne's non-fiction challenge. This month it's science and technology, and this includes medicine. I suspect you could fit this book into a lot of other categories too (travel writing, belief, social justice?). The author is a science writer based in London, but writes that she considered herself an outsider despite her mother's background in India and her father's in the Trinidadian Indian community. She opens with a quote from Proust about keeping your eyes open to new experiences and it's this attitude that I enjoyed in the book. She travelled across India, from glamorous urban plastic surgery clinics that cater to the stars of Bollywood to observing the work of rural trained medics in villages dealing with the threats of guerrillas. Medical challenges are placed in the context of social history and that of the place - so in accompanying a traditional user of medicinal plants, the history of an area once colonised by the Portuguese, leaving accounts of research into the medicines traded internationally (that can even be supported with Ancient Greek underwater archaeology, showing medics in BCE carrying tablets based on Indian plants).

It was fascinating to read of the Indian government's support for other medical traditions, and the ways that this may be used to combat the real shortages of medics willing to work in rural areas. Perhaps most inspiring and hopeful were the initiatives that are changing world medicine, from programmes training women unable to access hospital care before and after they have a baby (rather than just focusing on healthy delivery) to a doctor using MRI scans to learn about how we see (and in the process getting funding for children's cataract operations). Great book.
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charl08 | Aug 21, 2016 |
I was gifted this book as part of the GoodReads giveaway.

"Like a Virgin" is, first, highly readable. As a happily childless woman I am not particularly interested in the ins and outs of the uterus (the reason I wanted to read this was the more science fictional aspects explored) but even the biology parts were made interesting by not overly complicated explanations that leave you with a good general idea of things going from DNA splitting to the consequences of assisted reproduction, both physical and cultural (eg. India is rife with young women becoming surrogate mothers for foreigners who can pay them a third of what they would pay a woman in their countries).

Since same sex couples were mentioned quite a bit (enough to be inclusive, let´s say). Interestingly, there´s a rat in Japan that has two mummies, one of which donated a younger egg that somehow was used to fertilize the mature egg of the first.

Y chromosomes are, many fear, on their way out, as they have only 80 genes to the 1000 or more of the X and since they have to partner with an X chromosome when an embryo is created, they cannot exchange genetic information to "update" themselves, being limited to reshuffling the genes internally. Of course, without Y chromosomes regular males cannot be produced (fertile XY males), making a possibility of the all female world like many proposed in sci-fi (are there any biologically all-male worlds? I know of some where women and men live separately but none were women have disappeared).

Very interesting, my only concern reading this in May 2014 is that the information might by now be slightly outdated or at least not fully updated. Such is the destiny of printed press, another disappearing model. Because of that and the fact that it´s not very in-depth (It´s not MEANT to be but I feel a little more would not have hurt the readability factor) I'm giving it 3.5 stars.

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Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |



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