Pockets: An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close

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Product Details
$35.00  $32.55
Algonquin Books
Publish Date
7.0 X 9.1 X 1.1 inches | 1.7 pounds

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About the Author
Hannah Carlson teaches dress history and material culture at the Rhode Island School of Design. After training as a conservator of costume and textiles at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she received a PhD in material culture from Boston University. She has contributed articles to Commonplace: the journal of early American life; Dress; and MacGuffin: The Life of Things.

"If you're a man, you might wonder why someone would write an entire book about pockets...if you're a woman, the story of Pockets pretty much illuminates all of human history. Either way, once you pick up Pockets, you'll never forget its weird and wonderful lessons of power and possession."
--Faith Salie, contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning and regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
"Rarely is such a feat of scholarship also such a delight. Carlson's comprehensive history is among the best fashion books I've ever read. This deceptively simple premise contains surprising stories of the ways that politics, law, and technology manifest themselves in the clothes we wear. But the best part is that this book is full of so much assorted delightful useful miscellany--just like the pocket itself."
--Avery Trufelman, host and creator of "Articles of Interest" podcast
"From feminine codes of secrecy to the fascinating culture of smart textiles, Carlson's book is that rare thing: an exhaustive social history that's also un-put-downable. Pockets reminds us that what we hold close says everything about who we are, what we value, and why it matters."
--Jessica Helfand, Design Observer
"Pockets is absolutely fascinating and beautifully written."
--Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
"Witty, wise, and totally mind-bending, this deeply researched, beautifully written book not only recovers the hidden history of pockets, but also reveals the ways those familiar but often ignored pouches reflected (and sometimes reshaped) cultural understandings of objects and the persons that carry them."
--Bruce J. Schulman, William E. Huntington Professor of History, Boston University, and author of Making the American Century
"Carlson's fascinating book--a historical who, what, where, why and when with the pocket as its central character--is as delightfully gripping as a spy novel."--Linda O'Keeffe, author Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More
"Stuffed with illuminating illustrations and fresh insights, Pockets will make you reconsider an overlooked but indispensable manifestation of our designed lives. Carlson keeps ferreting out discoveries we didn't even know we were looking for."
--Rob Walker, The Art of Noticing
"Fascinating. Drawing from literary and artistic sources; media commentary; behavioral studies; and object histories, Carlson offers an enlightening and engaging account of the sexual politics underlying the uneven use of pockets in the design of men's and women's dress."----Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge, The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"Who knew the humble pocket could hold so much history? In this enthralling and always surprising account, Hannah Carlson turns the pocket inside out and out tumble pocket watches, coins, pistols, and a riveting centuries-long social and political history."
--Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States
"Sweeping gracefully over half a millennium of Western culture... Carlson's study showcases the best features of cultural history... As sumptuously illustrated as it is learned... this highly inventive and original book demands a pocket sequel."--Wall Street Journal
"Fascinating insight as to how something as simple as a pocket can influence culture, gender, and society as a whole. Full color images and photos are abundant throughout the text, wonderfully illustrating that which is being discussed. Perfect for readers interested in history and textiles as well as culture, sociology, and gender."--Booklist
"An entertaining, slightly academic look at how attitudes toward pockets have changed over the course of the past several centuries... juicy anecdotes."--Minneapolis Star-Tribune
In her nifty "Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close," Hannah Carlson unbuttons the politics behind who gets to hide their belongings, and where.--New York Times Book Review
"Carlson's detailed and roving examination of the pocket, a substantial and fascinating book filled with lavish color illustrations, is definitely worth a read -- even if it likely won't fit in anyone's, well, you know."--Washington Independent Review of Books
Named a Best/Most Recommended Book by The New Yorker and Publishers Weekly
"Delightfully wide-ranging... Carlson's winning book depicts the range and relevance of the pocket, which can be a metaphor for abundance or perversion, possession or secrecy--and a way of managing the efficiencies of life."--The New Yorker
"Fascinating first book... richly illustrated... This erudite, enjoyable book about pockets delivers."--Library Journal