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This is an exposition of the author's philosophy of naturism. In it he covers many aspects of the contemporary naturist scene, mostly addressing the book's title question by demolishing all the usual objections to nudity, and leaving us to answer the question 'Why not?' with no ammunition. This is not really a guide book, so those looking for naturist opportunities will be disappointed, but more a manual for debate, though easily read and not too academic in its approach. The author's atheist view is allowed to spill over a little at time when he criticises all religions for what he claims are their prudish views of nudity, though he does admit that, apart from in Islam, there is no real basis in scripture to condemn nudity, and that any criticism from various clerics is based on personal prejudices alone. This book might help someone with moral scruples who is contemplating naturism, or a naturist who like to understand the subject. There are no illustrations, so voyeurs will not be attracted to it.
A very personal approach to an interesting subject. I shall read it on Underground in the hope of passing on the message to those of all persuasions jammed in around me, that we are in fact a very tolerant society, no matter what they think.
Decent, but misnamed and incomplete. As others wrote, not a picture book, is a collection of essays.
Should have been named "Why clothed?" rather than "Why nude?". Author spends vast majority of book pontificating on why clothes are required, and next to no time on why nudity is good. Failed to mention lower suicide and cancer rates in naturists. Except for its a cheap, healthy, and enjoyable diversion, didn't go into many reasons for naturism. Author dismisses some obvious ones like voyeurism, shouldn't deny this is a part of it; Observing a place or people is at least an initial factor in experiencing or desiring to experience a place or people. For me, main drive seems to be a reaction to having been a latch-key kid, and my cabin fever is really bad now with covid; idea of sitting naked on a beach really appeals to both inner child and current me. Wish author had spent more time on looking at the drives of people interested in naturism.
Author puts forth the clothed drive mainly in a religious and sociopolitical perspective. EG, writes that Victorian England's prudery was a result of social distancing and racial purity drives, which might be true; ignores that walking naked down a victorian London street would have been an instant practical death sentence due to infection and attacks: lacking modern ethics, sanitation, hygiene, and medicine. Until recently naturism was impossible in all but a few latin American, European, and African elysian fields. Author misses that people wore clothes not just due to social pressure, but also to protect from pollution, disease, parasites, wounds, and weather (and hide the effects thereof). Ignored that the increased caloric burn of nude people would have eliminated the option for most people in history, clothes literally made starvation less likely and lowered heating fuel consumption. Higher calorie burn would be a benefit only now. Book is very UK focused. Fails to mention that France was very anti-naturism in interbellum years.
Enjoyed the idea that clothes are just another meme, very true. Anger at nudity is just meme discordance. Author sometimes falls in to trap of failing to expand on potentially interesing anecdotes, but I did enjoy references to relevent artwork and publications I can look up.
Will keep and reread book. Would be interested in an expanded second volume.
…it has some problems. I haven't read all of it but some sections tend to run on too long (for an example the author appears to be non religious and runs on & on about religion .…he does give some some pro nudism religious examples) and could be edited down a bit. If you're new to the idea will "Why nude?" make a convert of you? Maybe not but it could help. The cover photos are very appropriate but you won't find any illustrations except for the Pioneer space probe plaque (a half page diagram)… pictures aren't really needed.