cover image Going Going Gone: Vanishing AME

Going Going Gone: Vanishing AME

Chronicle Books, Susan Jonas. Chronicle Books, $18.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0292-5

Jonas and Nissenson ( The Ubiquitous Pig ) slyly present nostalgia with a subtext--many of their examples of phenomena which are disappearing, or already have disappeared, are gender-related. Each entry has a short descriptive essay and black-and-white photographs. For example, the treatise on blue laws--which kept businesses closed on Sundays--outlines their Puritan roots and points out that with women in the work force, Sunday shopping became a necessity. Quotes from popular literature also enhance these often ironic presentations, such as the segment from a 1939 Harper's Bazaar article included in the section on girdles. On a more serious note, sexual assault is shown to have caused the demise of hitchhiking; the end of men's clubs like Yale University's Skull and Bones is chronicled by its members; and comments on the decrease in the number of nuns include anecdotal evidence such as film director Martin Scorsese's belief that ``most of the nuns who taught him were hopelessly ignorant and politically conservative'' and an unnamed artist's comment that nuns made parochial school students believe that Protestant friends would ``put a microscopic sliver of bacon in a cupcake and give it to us on Friday.'' (Apr.)