Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke

Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke

This was an incredibly fun non-fiction to read, the perfect book to carry around in your bag. It’s a conversation starter, a laugh-out-loud-on-the-train commute/waiting room/airplane/sit-by-the-pool-and-watch-butts-walk-by kind of read. I thoroughly enjoyed it on multiple levels.

First, on content: Radke’s research is well done. This is not an academic, peer reviewed piece of scholarship, but it is a well-researched, chronological and multi-disciplinary perspective on that part of our body we might often despise/regret/wish hidden/love/extoll/exhibit. Butts begins with an evolutionary explanation, a physiological treatise in what, why, and how we have butts at all and what they do for us. It then moves on into history proper, working to the present, and ending with a significant number of chapters focused on butts in the contemporary moment (Kim Kardashian and others) and in popular Western culture. [Radke is up front with the Western-centric focus of her study; this is a commentary on butts as understood in Western culture and history and is not a global study.]

Second, prose: Radke’s delivery is on point for a non-academic, general audience non-fiction. The prose is smooth, hilarious in so many parts, and remains lighthearted throughout, even when the content gets heavy and educational.

Whatever you feelings and thoughts about butts, backsides, or bottoms, Butts is a great read.

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