Everyone, Then No One

David Nasaw

  • Hatless Jack: The President, the Fedora and the Death of the Hat by Neil Steinberg
    Granta, 342 pp, £12.00, August 2005, ISBN 1 86207 782 7

To paraphrase Roland Barthes, hats are worn to be seen and to be read. They are signs of who we are or want to be. Because hats, unlike shoes or coats, are worn near eye-level, they are the first item of apparel offered for view. The stranger approaching from a distance reads the hat before he sees the face or figure and, at a glance, learns a lot about the person beneath it.

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