April 8, 2013

Poop throughout history

Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Up
by Sarah Albee

In her preface, Sarah Albee writes that as a kid, she wasn't interested in dates of battles or names of queens, she was more interested in how people lived and what they did. The questions she wanted answered was what did they wear? What did they eat? And more importantly, how did they go to the bathroom?

It turns out that much of human history was influenced by the evolution of hygiene and sanitation. After all, you can't expect people to survive if they're surrounded by piles of poop and contaminated water. Add in overcrowded tenements, free-roaming animals, and the fear of bathing, and you end up with disease, pestilence, and death. Only civilizations that successfully dealt with sewage and waste were able to grow and prosper.

Poop Happened! is an enlightening and smelly trip through history that will delight and inform readers of all ages. Highly recommended.

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