The Intimate Bond

The Intimate Bond

How Animals Shaped Human History

Book - 2015
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Animals, and our ever-changing relationship with them, have left an indelible mark on human history. Through an in-depth analysis of six truly transformative human-animal relationships, Fagan shows how our habits and our very way of life were considerably and irreversibly altered by our intimate bond with animals. Among other stories, Fagan explores how herding changed human behavior; how the humble donkey helped launch the process of globalization; and how the horse carried a hearty band of nomads across the world and toppled the emperor of China.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2015
ISBN: 9781620405727
Branch Call Number: 591.5 F131I 2015
Characteristics: xvii, 308 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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Feb 03, 2020

I was looking forward to reading this; I had read most of the author's other books, and the subject considered in itself is really interesting. It was a disappointment: the chapters are brief, not very informative, not charts or graphs plotting the ages and places of domestication, nor any charts about the likely procedures of domestication; the maps are nearly useless; there are only a few pictures; the chapters on dogs totally left out any mention of the evolution of African wild dogs and of Australian wild dogs (were they descended from wolves too?); birds got a brief mention, in the form of chickens rather late (p.262ff), and then only two pages; nothing about fishes; nothing about genetically modified animals.
The most interesting part was about the people who live(d) on the steppe, and how intimately they understand their environment (p.194 - Chekhov wrote a novella about the steppe and mostly expressed mind numbing boredom - it was clearly due to his own ignorance and incuriosity about the people who lived there.)
The most edifying part were the chapters about the donkey.


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