Be Seated: A Book About Chairs

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9780060215378: Be Seated: A Book About Chairs

Chronicles the history, technological development, and social significance of chairs, in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States, from prehistory to the present.

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About the Author:

James Cross Giblin is the author of eighteen books for young readers, many of which have received awards and honors. Twelve of his titles, most recently Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero and When Plague Strikes: The Black Death, Smallpox, AIDS have been named Notable Children's Books by the American Library Association. In 1996 he received the Washington Post--Children's Book Guild Award for Nonfiction for his body of work. Mr. Giblin lives in New York City.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In his usual lucid, humane style, the author of such historical surveys as Chimney Sweeps (1983 American Book Award) and Milk (1986) considers the role of the chair as artifact, symbol, and comfortable refuge. Though focusing mainly on its evolution in Western civilization, Giblin begins by pointing out that some cultures have never had chairs or felt their lack, and also includes an interesting chapter on how the ancient Chinese improved on the idea of what they termed a ``barbarian couch,'' which evidently arrived from Greece or Rome; and one on the beautifully carved African ``stools'' and their ceremonial significance. Information on language (when chairs were rare, only the ``chairman'' had one); construction and materials; factors such as fashion (some chairs were designed to accommodate hoop skirts); Shaker simplicity; regal thrones (there was a deliberate dearth of chairs at Versailles--to sit was a privilege); designers of note; the relationship between posture and propriety; whimsical contemporaries (a Mickey Mouse chair); technological innovations--all add up to another fascinating, provocative window into social history. Attractively illustrated with b&w photos, period prints, etc.; bibliography and source notes; index. (Nonfiction. 10+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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