Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa

Paperback | October 10, 2000

byJoan Jacobs Brumberg

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Winner of four major awards, this updated edition of Joan Jacobs Brumberg's Fasting Girls, presents a history of women's food-refusal dating back as far as the sixteenth century. Here is a tableau of female self-denial: medieval martyrs who used starvation to demonstrate religious devotion, "wonders of science" whose families capitalized on their ability to survive on flower petals and air, silent screen stars whose strict "slimming" regimens inspired a generation. Here, too, is a fascinating look at how the cultural ramifications of the Industrial Revolution produced a disorder that continues to render privileged young women helpless. Incisive, compassionate, illuminating, Fasting Girls offers real understanding to victims and their families, clinicians, and all women who are interested in the origins and future of this complex, modern and characteristically female disease.

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From Our Editors

This masterful historical analysis by Joan Jacobs Brumberg traces female food-refusal issues back to the 16th century. Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa paints a picture of centuries of self-denial: martyrs who used starvation to demonstrate faith, freaks of nature who starved so they could make money in circuses and s...

From the Publisher

Winner of four major awards, this updated edition of Joan Jacobs Brumberg's Fasting Girls, presents a history of women's food-refusal dating back as far as the sixteenth century. Here is a tableau of female self-denial: medieval martyrs who used starvation to demonstrate religious devotion, "wonders of science" whose families capitaliz...

From the Jacket

Winner of four major awards, this updated edition of Joan Jacobs Brumberg's Fasting Girls, presents a history of women's food-refusal dating back as far as the sixteenth century. Here is a tableau of female self-denial: medieval martyrs who used starvation to demonstrate religious devotion, "wonders of science" whose families capitaliz...

Joan Jacobs Brumberg is a Stephen H. Weiss Professor at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York.

other books by Joan Jacobs Brumberg

Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 7.98 × 5.14 × 0.76 inPublished:October 10, 2000Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0375724486

ISBN - 13:9780375724480

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From Our Editors

This masterful historical analysis by Joan Jacobs Brumberg traces female food-refusal issues back to the 16th century. Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa paints a picture of centuries of self-denial: martyrs who used starvation to demonstrate faith, freaks of nature who starved so they could make money in circuses and silent screen stars whose slenderness inspired a generation of dieting, neurotic women. This insightful and revelatory work received an excellent review from The Journal of Social History. Brumberg is also the author of the critically acclaimed The Body Project: An Intimate History of Girls.

Editorial Reviews

"Full of fascinating cases, from medieval saints and Victorian spiritualists to contemporary college students and media celebrities."--Alison Lurie

"Brilliant--. A masterful blend of history and contemporary issues."--Journal of Social History