A Coat Of Many Colors

Overview

A 'Coat of Many Colors' investigates Israel's first seven years as a sovereign state through the unusual prism of dress. Clothes worn by Israelis in the 1950s reflected political ideologies, economic conditions, military priorities, social distinctions, and cultural preferences, and all played a part in consolidating a new national identity. Based on a wide range of textual and visual historical documents, the book covers both what Israelis wore in various circumstances and what they said and wrote about clothing...
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Overview

A 'Coat of Many Colors' investigates Israel's first seven years as a sovereign state through the unusual prism of dress. Clothes worn by Israelis in the 1950s reflected political ideologies, economic conditions, military priorities, social distinctions, and cultural preferences, and all played a part in consolidating a new national identity. Based on a wide range of textual and visual historical documents, the book covers both what Israelis wore in various circumstances and what they said and wrote about clothing and fashion. Written in a clear and accessible style that will appeal to the general reader as well as to students and scholars, 'A Coat of Many Colors' introduces the reader both to Israel's history during its formative years and to the rich field of dress culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Well-documented with an impressive bibliography, Anat Helman's book, A Coat of Many Colors, is an easy-to-read account and analysis of dress fashions among Israel's immigrants and residents in the country's first years. I enjoyed this book very much—it's fun to read and clearly demonstrates how clothing and dress are integral aspects of social and cultural history.
—Joanne B. Eicher, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion

With her superb eye for detail and her ability to tell a good story well, Anat Helman has produced a marvelous history of the State of Israel's early days by studying its clothing culture. Through this approach Helman tells the history of the fledgling state's economy, illuminates the values of the kibbutz movement, the military, the government and Israeli private life and reveals much about gender roles and the East-West ethnic encounter and does so by examining the dress codes each of these spheres promoted and the ideological underpinnings for such choices. A Coat of Many Colors allows us to read Israeli culture in its formative phase in an entirely new light. This is cultural history at its finest and establishes Anat Helman as one of the most interesting and path-breaking historians of her generation.
—John Efron, Koret Professor of Jewish History, University of California-Berkeley

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Anat Helman (Ph.D. Hebrew University) is a lecturer in the Jewish History Department and the Cultural Studies Program at Hebrew University. Her most recent publications include: Tel Aviv’s Culture during the Mandate Era (in Hebrew) and The Voice of the First Hebrew City to its Residents: Municipal Posters in Mandate Era Tel Aviv, with Yael Reshef (in Hebrew, forthcoming in Israel).
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