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Pets in America: A History


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About the Author

Katherine C. Grier is professor of material culture studies, Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library and the University of Delaware, USA. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware, and Onancock, Virginia, with her husband, two cats, and two dogs.


[A] remarkably well-written, richly researched study.--Journal of Social History
A fascinating look at the development, roles, and effects of pets in American society. . . . Provide[s] a wealth of . . . dependable information that any pet lover would appreciate.--Choice
A good social and cultural history of pet keeping in America . . . [A history] that will last us a while.-- Winterthur Portfolio
A welcome addition to the field.--American Historical Review
Although [Pets in America's] six chapters can be read independently, they function best together as a sustained narrative that uses broad subjects . . . to probe not just our changing notions about animals but our changing definition of a good society. And because Grier, as she modestly puts it, is 'interested in stories, ' her inquiries can be very entertaining. . . . Grier has a nice habit of tweaking a detail to make a larger point. . . . With her characteristic blend of seriousness and whimsy, Grier confesses to an interest in 'the tension between the apparent desire of American pet owners to experience the 'animal' in our pets . . . and our simultaneous and increasing desire to regulate and control our pets.--New York Times Book Review
An encyclopedic history. . . . [Pets in America is] scholarly, thorough, informative and animal friendly.--Publishers Weekly
Few scholars know more about the complex interactions between people and the animals that share their lives than Kasey Grier.--The Hunt
Lucidly written and well-researched. . . . It is hard to imagine that Grier has left a stone unturned on a topic for which an exhaustive paper trail does not exist by her own admission. . . . [An] insightful and sensitive look at the two centuries that brought us to where we are now.--Antiques
Scholars of the history of human-animal relations have eagerly anticipated this book, and the result exceeds expectations.--Journal of American History
This work explores the history of animal-human bonding in the context of a growing country with a diverse population. The narrative is entwined with the development of veterinary medicine, animal humane movements, and pet products. If the well-written prose is not enough, the illustrations provide a telling accent. . . . Although grounded in material evidence, the book introduces larger issues--philosophies of caring and belief that, despite enormous social and technological change, span centuries.--Bloomsbury Review

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