A History of the Human Love Affair with Reflection

By Mark Pendergrast

Basic Books (AZ), Paperback, 9780465054718, 404pp.

Publication Date: July 2004

As our first technology for contemplation of the self, the mirror is arguably as important an invention as the wheel and perhaps even more universal. "Mirror Mirror" is the fascinating story of the mirror's invention, refinement, and use in an astonishing range of human activities-from the bloodthirsty smoking gods of the Toltecs, to the fantastic mirrored rooms wealthy Romans created for their orgies, to the mirror's key role in the use and understanding of light. From Archimedes to Isaac Newton to Max Factor to David Hockney, this is the fascinating tale of one of the most remarkable inventions in human history and its effects on myth, religion, science, manners, and the arts.