Over the years the bra has been stereotyped as an object of seduction, glamour, and even oppression. In Uplift: A History of the Bra in America Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau use this item of clothing to gauge the social history of women and to understand the business history of fashion. Viewing fashion as a means to entertainment, self-creation, and everyday art, the authors illuminate the effect the brassiere has had on women's lives—their style, health, and economic opportunity.
Rich in examples from advertising, movies, and other areas of popular culture, Uplift moves beyond featherbones and fiberfill to provide a sense of the dynamic relationship of the bra to wider issues in society.
Some Developments in Bra History
Preface: Firming Up the Facts
1. The Birth of the Brassiere
2. Brassieres Win a Niche in Fashion
3. Breasts Lost and Found
4. Brassieres Rise, Stocks Fall
5. Dutiful Brassieres
6. Boom and Busts
7. Ban the Bra?
8. Wondering About Bras
App. ASelected Brassiere Manufacturers
App. BBrassiere Brands
"Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau have collaborated to produce a minor miracle: an informal yet comprehensively researched work of history and sociology that isn't dull, isn't pretentious, isn't politically correct (or incorrect), and that's fun to read as well as being instructive."—Robert Gottlieb, New York Observer
"Uplift is extremely well-researched, and is significantly better than previous histories of the brassiere."—Valerie Steele, Fashion Institute of Technology
"In this good-humored yet careful examination, Farrell-Beck and Gau illuminate women's experience of this most everyday garment. . . . A fun, punchy book."—Publishers Weekly