Jennifer Mangler's Reviews > The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters

The Big Necessity by Rose George
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's review
Jul 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, favorites

When I tell people that I read this book and loved it they cringe or think I'm strange. And that is why EVERYONE needs to read this book. We don't like to talk about poop and we don't like to think about poop. We are, in other words, a fecalphobic culture, and that has profound implications for millions of people around the world. Good sanitation is absolutely vital and its impact is often overlooked. Sanitation doesn't get brought up in most history books but it has played an absolutely vital role in determining the course of events. Lack of adequate sanitation, George argues, is "the world's biggest unsolved public health crisis." School attendance and sanitation are also linked. So when we talk about helping the world's poor without talking about poop we fail to address an issue of vital importance. This is a discussion we need to have even though most of us are uncomfortable having it.

But it's not all seriousness in this book. There are lots of fun and interesting facts that lighten the mood & will challenge what you think you know. For example, it turns out that using toilet paper is very, very unhygienic. Who knew? I didn't.

This is a very informative and irreverent book. You'll laugh a lot, cringe a lot, and think a lot. I highly recommend it.

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message 1: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard Goodwin Having used the squalid pit toilets of China and the gleaming, whirring Super Commodes of Japan, I really enjoyed this book. And your review is terrific.

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