Monday, August 6, 2012

WOMEN FROM THE ANKLE DOWN: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
WOMEN FROM THE ANKLE DOWN
The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us
BY RACHELLE BERGSTEIN

ABOUT THE BOOK:
What is it about a pair of shoes that so enchants women of all ages, demographics, political affiliations, and style tribes? Part social history, part fashion record, part pop-culture celebration, Women from the Ankle Down seeks to answer that question as it unfolds the story of shoes in the twentieth century.

The tale begins in the rural village of Bonito, Italy, with a visionary young shoemaker named Salvatore Ferragamo and ends in New York City with a fictional socialite and trendsetter named Carrie Bradshaw. Along the way it stops in Hollywood, where Judy Garland first slipped on her ruby slippers; New Jersey, where Nancy Sinatra heard something special in a song about boots; and the streets of Manhattan, where a transit-worker strike propelled women to step into cutting-edge athletic shoes. Fashion aficionado Rachelle Bergstein shares the stories behind these historical moments, interweaving the design innovations and social changes that gave each one its lasting significance and appeal.

Bergstein shows how the story of shoes is the story of women, told from the ankle down. Beginning with the well-heeled suffragettes in the 1910s, women have fought for greater freedom and mobility, a struggle that exploded in the 1960s with the women's liberation movement and culminated in the new millennium with our devotion to personal choice. Featuring interviews with designers, historians, and cultural experts, and a cast of real-life characters, from Marilyn Monroe to Jane Fonda, from Gwen Stefani to Manolo Blahnik, Women from the Ankle Down is a lively, compelling look at the evolution of modern women and the fashion that reflects—and has shaped—their changing lives.

PRAISE FOR WOMEN FROM THE ANKLE DOWN:
“A fleet-footed social history.”
Liesl Schillinger, New York Times
 “[A] lively look at the history of stilettos, sneakers and sundry other leather- and rubber-soled objects of swoon….Chatty yet authoritative.”— Olivia Barker, USA Today “If style defines the woman, and shoes a woman’s style, then ooh la la, here’s the definitive history and guide—everything from Chinese bound feet to Ferragamo, from Hollywood favorites to running up one’s credit card on the sine qua non of fashion.”

— Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat
 “If you could glimpse the passing parade of the last hundred years or so from behind a slightly raised curtain, you’d have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in this richly anecdotal history of shoes.”
— Amanda Lovell, More Magazine
Every woman who loves her shoes should read this book - hell - every man who loves women’s shoes should read this book….Informative, interesting, and just plain fun.”
— New York Journal of Books 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachelle Bergstein graduated in 2003 from Vassar College, where she won awards for her academic writing. She works as an editorial consultant for a literary agency in New York City, and her writing has appeared in Fresh Yarn, The Awl, Slice magazine, and The Dirty Durty Diary. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her cat, and her shoes. This is her first book.

To read more about Author Rachelle Bergstein, read her "bio" in her website HERE

MY THOUGHT/REVIEW:
Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us by Rachelle Bergstein was sheer delight for me. I am a shoe fanatic and love to buy them but mostly can't afford the kind I would love to be wearing. I also love to see who is wearing what and so this book certainly satisfied me on that front. 

The book gives a bit of history of shoes for both sexes and how they often reflect a country's style as well as economic and political standing. That sounds very dry but it isn't as Bergstein weaves this all into her story. She writes about the story behind some of the most famous designers like Manolo Blahnik (I own one precious pair I bought on sale) and Ferragamo. The parts about Jimmy Choo, Dior, Stuart Weitzman and others are interesting as she relates how much celebrities and movies can influence what we see and like (and yearn for). Sarah Jessica Parker probably did more for making Manolo Blahnik a household name through her "Sex and the City" movie and shows than anyone else. 

Also included is a wealth of facts about current and past celebrities and their influence on shoe styles. Many shoe companies from Reebok to Converse, from Doc Martins to Mary Janes, are discussed and I found them all fascinating. Overall, if you like shoes and/or reading about celebrities as well, than this is a great book for you. It is an easy read and very enjoyable.

 GIVEAWAY
I AM HAPPY TO HAVE ONE
COPY OF WOMEN FROM THE
ANKLE DOWN TO GIVE AWAY
TO A LUCKY READER
   
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE IN
ORDER TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
 
HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT WOMEN FROM THE ANKLE DOWN THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING WHEN VISITING RACHELLE BERGSTEIN'S WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU CAN COMMENT ON EACH ON SEPARATELY AND GAIN MORE ENTRIES THAT WAY 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, AUGUST 22
GOOD LUCK!

84 comments:

Tea norman said...

+1 I never connected shoes to our Social history. I can see it now after reading the review. Would like to read about shoes and our history.

Tea norman said...

+1 I tweeted the giveaway.

Tea norman said...

+1In the reviews on the author's page I discovered a book titled French Women Don't Get Fat. Interesting.:) I also discovered the author is on Facebook.

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+1 I haven't entered a recent giveaway.

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+1 I follow in Google Reader
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debbie said...

This is interesting, that we still view shoes as a representation of social class. I would like to read this book.
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holdenj said...

Shoes fascinate me, if only because I can find so few to fit my narrow foot! Looks like a fun read.
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Carol N Wong said...

I have always loved shoes and would love to read the social history of them and about the famous shoe designers.

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I tweeted:

http://t.co/ykQrmnNy

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From her site, I read about the shoes of the 1940s in "The Greatest Generation was Robbed of Sexy Footwear.

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