The Tall Book, Arianne Cohen: Book Review

The Tall Book is to books as its tall audience is to average people: Uncommon and unmistakable. Books on height are rare, and to the best of my knowledge, The Tall Book is the most accessible and comprehensive in detailing the implications of exceptional height.

Arianne Cohen, a 6′ 3″ Brooklyn journalist, did extensive research for the book, drawing on knowledge from her travels including a visit to the pan-European tall convention, interviews with researchers and specialists, and even her own dating experience with a 7′ 2″ guy. The book is both informative and entertaining with illuminating tidbits of information such as, “In the last thirty-one presidential elections, the tall candidate has won the popular vote twenty-six times, or roughly 87 percent.”

Arianne points out some of the challenges of being tall including dating difficulties for tall women, ergonomics, and finding clothes. But, as she goes on to make evident, these pale in comparison to the perks: Increased stature coincides with some health benefits, athletic advantages, higher IQs, statistically larger incomes, and male dating prowess. Sadly, these are all subject to a U-shape curve and reverse with extreme height. In not so many words, she glances upon this caveat, but only glances as she keeps the tone of the book highly optimistic.

Tall males and females share similar predicaments, however, the greatest challenge for tall males is ergonomics while for tall females it is social circumstances. Though The Tall Book’s intention is to delve into tallness regardless of gender, I think Arianne’s own life experiences have tipped the book a bit towards the female side.

Exceptional height is accompanied with profound implications to our health and so many aspects of our lives, and The Tall Book begins to fill the giant void in the literature on the topic. If you or someone close to you is tall, The Tall Book is a must read.

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