Women From the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us by Rachelle Bergstein is a great read. It combines history, entertainment, fashion, and socio-political commentary. It is a historical look at the evolution of Ladies' shoes and the social commentary the shoes themselves made. The book includes wonderful anecdotal stories ranging from Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz to Wonder Woman's red lace-up stilletto boots. Carrie Bradshaw (a fictional woman) has a chapter designated to her character from Sex and the City. There is a chapter on men's shoes too, which features men's platforms, such as those seen in Saturday Night Fever. And there is a chapter on how Salvador Ferragamo got his start as an apprentice cobbler in Italy, plus so much more.
The book is suprisingly entertaining and engrossing and that is so despite the absence of photos. You would think that a book of this sort would have plenty of photos of shoes, but there are only little sketches of shoes at the top of each new chapter. I wanted to see the shoes I was reading about. But otherwise, I certainly recommend this book to those who love shoes of all styles and colors, who love movies and TV, and who love socio-political commentary on fashion.