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Biting the Dust: The Joys of Housework
In this witty look at our obsession with cleaning, Margaret Horsfield confronts her own dirt demons and scours the social, historical, literary and psychological nooks and crannies of the world of household chores. Through historical research, countless interviews with people and an analysis of characters from novels and advertising, Horsfield presents such memorable perso ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 15th 1999 by St. Martin's Griffin
(first published April 15th 1998)
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Interesting look at how we obtained the standards of cleanliness that we do even if we do not execute them, how germ theory, advertising, and the fifties house-proud homemaker, all have been contributing factors to our cultural definition of what it really means to clean. She also takes an interesting look into how our code of cleanliness defines us personally (from the "neat freak" to the total "slob") and how those social reactions have been built. On the whole an interesting social history.
I remember reading this years ago and thinking the author was a cleanliness nut--friends and acquaintances kept accusing her of thinking about cleaning too much. Fun book on the history of houses and our possessions and what it takes to keep all neat and tidy.