Annette Kobak

Whole Societies are in Mourning for their Lives

Men in Black

By

Reaktion Books 280pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

It’s the claim of some books that they will change your life. Men in Black makes no such claim, yet it undoubtedly will if you read it. At its simplest – and the book’s apparently simple title proves to be the doorway to a brilliantly sustained, illuminating and subtle disquisition on the malaise of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English society – you will probably never put on a black garment again, man or woman, without resonating like a tuning-fork with the memory of what you have read. Even to those with keen awareness of dress codes, to put on a black anything will become a statement of previously unimaginable complexity.

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