LIFE ON MAN by Theodor Rosebury


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Life on man exists on every surface and in every orifice, whether the some 80 organisms Professor Rosebury once identified in the mouth or the anal-gous population explosion in the billions and trillions. Professor Rosebury, a microbiologist, explores some of these residential areas primarily in the interests of health: actually most of the microbes are benign, useful and protective. Far more harmful are man's attitudes in a ""nation of tubbed, scrubbed, deodorized neurotics"" and from this point on Rosebury travels through all kinds of terrain--psychological and scatological, social and cultural. He isolates the opprobrium and prejudice we attach to the body's byproducts whereas in older cultures curative and mystic powers were attributed to them; he is most entertaining on the customs of the lavatory with entertaining gourmet notes and graffiti from all over; and he is quite serious about our misuse of obscenity whether in its amputation or exploitation in literature. Professor Rosebury is a highly liberal man and his examples are drawn from Shakespeare or Swift, Frazer or Lenny Bruce, and in closing, with no soft soap, in fact no soap at all, he ticks off some of our false notions of infection and disease. . . . A tonic, sometimes startling, and enlightening perspective hosted with wit.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1969
Publisher: Viking