An absorbing, original account of the beach--its history, customs, spectacles, and how it became the undisputed Nirvana for pleasure seekers.
Turquoise water, pillowy sand, and a warm, salty breeze--today the beach is regarded as the best possible place to restore body and soul. However, this has not always been the case. In other centuries the beach was considered a remote, terrifying wasteland on the margins of civilization. In their entertaining, elegant, and illuminating account, Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker trace the four-billion-year evolution of the place where land, water, and humans meet.
Embedded in the narrative are the histories of sexuality, health, fashion, sport, the rise of the great resorts--St. Tropez, Catalina, Newport, Miami Beach--and the beach tales of Columbus, D-Day troops, and castaways Cook, Melville, and Swinburne. Including a marvelous selection of images evoking the beach's hypnotic appeal--Impressionist paintings, archival photographs, advertising art, and postcards--and an Appendix of the world's most beautiful, unspoiled beaches, The Beach will fascinate any reader from Coney Island to Bora Bora.
"Engagingly eccentric [and] briskly good-humored ... [an] entertaining, handsomely illustrated book." --The New York Times Book Review (front page)
"The perfect beach book, any time of the year." --Chicago Tribune