Poop Culture: How America Is Shaped by Its Grossest National Product
Dave Praeger / Author Feral House $14.95 (229p) ISBN 978-1-932
The mastermind behind poopreport.com, first-time author Praeger takes a scatological and sociological look at what we so thoughtlessly leave behind. As the title might suggest, Praeger isn't one to mince words (his tone is captured well in the opening line, ""With enviable ease, poop slid out of the mechanical anus and onto the conveyor belt below""), but neither does he let the subject matter devolve to sophomoric humor. Instead, Praeger meticulously excavates the politics of poop, societal attitudes toward it and how both affect our culture and everyday lives. Propelled by a keen nose for trivia, Praeger chronicles everything from the rise in epidemics that led to better sanitation practices, culminating in the widespread adoption of the toilet, to the use of feces in art. Readers will also learn about the history of toilet paper, why toilets weren't commonplace in England until World War I and how to use a bidet properly. Happily, Praeger keeps things light but respectful throughout, even in a discussion of scatological satire; as such, his enlightening guide may very well represent the ultimate in bathroom reading material.
Reviewed on: 04/30/2007