Truth is stranger than fiction. And the facts of the history of how people have achieved cleanliness seems strange, and yet, each of the ideas presented show the evolution of societies. For example, when Paris decided to provide public urinals to prevent people from just going on the sidewalk, a German doctor decided an outdoor shower was a good idea too. It didn’t catch on.
Full disclosure, I make deodorant. Like, in my kitchen, by hand. And I am one of the “small but vocal movement of people…taking a new approach to clean” mentioned on page 90. So this book was a page turner for me. I am friends with several soap crafters and the history of soap, cleanliness, oils, etc. is personally fascinating to me. “All the Dirt” presents a balanced approach to cleanliness and customs around the world and throughout history. As a school library media specialist interested in media literacy, the advent of advertising and the soap opera chapter also speaks to why certain cultures are more concerned with cleanliness than others. Namely because they were targeted by convincing advertising tactics. As in the past, there is disagreement over which approaches to cleanliness are “right” or “healthy”. One thing that is definitely good for you is a good read, like “All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean.”
Title: All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean
Author: Katherine Ashenburg
Illustrator: Capucine Mazille
Published 2016 by Annick Press
This copy was received from the publisher for purpose of review.