One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair by Allen Peterkin (Paperback, 2002)

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Every man has the capacity to grow facial hair, but the decision to do so has always come with layers of meaning. Facial hair has traditionally marked a passage into manhood, but its manifestations have been determined by class, religion, history and occupational status. In the end, the act of displaying facial hair is still regarded as a form of ultimate cool. With wit and insight, One Thousand Beards delves into the historical, contemporary and cultural meaning of facial hair in all of its forms, complete with numerous photographs and illustrations.