Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World (Anglais) Relié – 1 décembre 2015
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
“A lively, incisive cultural and social history.” (Kirkus)
“History enthusiasts will be entertained by Raden’s knowledge of famous names as well as her narrative approach to the topic. Occasional injections of humor will keep readers interested.” (Library Journal)
“Raden’s commentary on the often ugly side of human desire through the ages is consistently captivating, and her witty delivery makes the material shine.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Riveting, erudite.” (MORE Magazine)
“Raden brings impeccable credentials to the task at hand. She also writes with a blithe and breezy deftness, peppering her narrative with snarky but substantive footnotes that recall the insouciance of Mary Roach. A gem of a study into all that enchants and bewitches.” (Booklist)
“Aja Raden must be a kick at dinner parties … She’s also an appealingly informal, effortless storyteller, fascinated by the stories she tells.” (Seattle Times)
“a populist history told with humor and great relish. . . . Profanely funny.” (David Duchovny, author of Holy Cow)
“Money, power, sexual politics, and jewelry! Isn’t this what makes the world go ‘round? What more could I ask for in a book (Madonna)
“’Stoned’ has its own special vitreous luster, just as any emerald worth its salt - an illumination into what makes us irrationally human.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Présentation de l'éditeur
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
As entertaining as it is incisive, Stoned is a raucous journey through the history of human desire for what is rare, and therefore precious.
What makes a stone a jewel? What makes a jewel priceless? And why do we covet beautiful things? In this brilliant account of how eight jewels shaped the course of history, jeweler and scientist Aja Raden tells an original and often startling story about our unshakeable addiction to beauty and the darker side of human desire.
What moves the world is what moves each of us: desire. Jewelry—which has long served as a stand-in for wealth and power, glamor and success—has birthed cultural movements, launched political dynasties, and started wars. Masterfully weaving together pop science and history, Stoned breaks history into three categories—Want, Take, and Have—and explains what the diamond on your finger has to do with the GI Bill, why green-tinted jewelry has been exalted by so many cultures, why the glass beads that bought Manhattan for the Dutch were initially considered a fair trade, and how the French Revolution started over a coveted necklace.
Studded with lively personalities and fascinating details, Stoned tells the remarkable story of our abiding desire for the rare and extraordinary.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Raden divides the book into three main sections; Want, Take and Have. As someone who, once upon a time, pre-marriage, pre-children, pre-mortgage, had quite the jewel fetish, the first section, in which she links the idea of perceived scarcity to value, was particularly interesting. She calls out the great long con the De Beers diamond cartel ran, the Manhattan beads and the boom and bust of New World emeralds. The next section, Take, covers jewels in the making of Queen Elizabeth I, the diamond necklace of the French revolution and an American's invaluable assistance in funding the fledgling USSR. Cultured Pearls and writstwatches make up the last section.
The book is very, very well researched, Raden is a scientist as well a jeweler and scholar of ancient history, and while the book is well written, she uses toggles between a scholarly and colloquial tone quite a bit. She take odd turns of language (almost whedonesque) which will date the book, or at least this edition. Things like calling the women of the court of Versailles' mean girls', or someone 'doing a solid' for someone else. The first 100 or so pages, I found this quite jarring but by the the end of the book I found these phrases almost charming.
If you are looking for a history of jewelry this book is probably not what you're looking for. It's first and foremost a social history, but if you want a book on how human nature shaped and is continuing to shape the modern era then I recommend 'Stoned'.