Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Devil's Cloth by Michel Pastoureau

I think this could have been a really great book but I felt that it fell a little short. It's a very small book, only about 90 pages, and it's lacking in pictures or illustrations that would have really demonstrated the points the author was trying to make.

He goes into depth about the history of the stripe. He does explain in pretty good detail how the stripe was seen as repugnant, only to be worn by outcasts of society (convicts, servants, prostitutes, etc). The book traces the path of the stripe throughout history and finally into its acceptance (with the help of America and her flag). The stripe soon became patriotic and even romantic.

The author seems to jump to some wild conclusions without answering his own questions ("Oh well, I guess we'll never know" type of writing). He also seems to contradict himself, or at least stretch a little, like putting children in stripes in the same vein as
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