Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human (2003) In his witty and informative top-to-bottom tour of the human anatomy, Sims gleans marvelous nuggets from medical and historical texts (milk from a woman's breasts… 2003-07-24 Nonfiction
Review

Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human (2003)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jul 24, 2003; Writer: Michael Sims; Genre: Nonfiction

In his witty and informative top-to-bottom tour of the human anatomy, Sims gleans marvelous nuggets from medical and historical texts (milk from a woman's breasts is the only food expressly designed for human consumption) and sets them against illustrative references from pop culture and the arts (he finds references disparaging the big toe in both Shakespeare's Coriolanus and Calvin and Hobbes). Sly and sardonic (lest we get too proud of our Homo sapiens superiority, he notes that we are a species that ''knits sweaters for dogs''), this body -- and bawdy -- Baedeker should inspire readers to do some Navel-gazing of their own.

Originally posted Aug 01, 2003 Published in issue #721 Aug 01, 2003 Order article reprints