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Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers


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"A work of great erudition and stunning scope, Bulliet's study takes readers on a journey through time and space they will not forget. You may never look at your cat (or for that matter, your hamburger) in the same way again." -- Gregory Pflugfelder, Columbia University, coeditor of JAPANimals: History and Culture in Japan's Animal Life

Table of Contents

1 - Postdomesticity: Our Lives with Animals 2 - The Stages of Human-Animal Relations 3 - Separation: The Human-Animal Divide 4 - Predomesticity 5 - Where the Tame Things Are 6 - Domestication and Usefulness 7 - From Mighty Hunter to Yajamana 8 - Early Domesticity: My Ass and Yours 9 - Late Domestic Divergences 10 - Toward Postdomesticity 11 - The Future of Human-Animal RelationsNotes Suggested Reading

About the Author

Richard W. Bulliet is professor of history at Columbia University. He is the author of The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization; Islam: The View from the Edge; and The Camel and The Wheel and the editor of The Columbia History of the Twentieth Century.


Columbia University historian Bulliet (The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization) admits he is not "a scientific researcher in the field of animal studies," but his book presents a provocative look at human-animal relations that offers a heady but highly readable mix of anthropology, archeology, zoology, environmentalism and philosophy. His main argument is that we live in an era of "postdomesticity" in which people live far away, "both physically and psychologically," from the animals whose food and hides they rely on. The bulk of the book is a look at various stages of human-animal relationships from antiquity to today, with remarkable explorations of related issues, such as the real-and nonnutritional-reason for human consumption of milk, and the way the industrialization of animal exploitation has caused a "spiritual and imaginative impoverishment of our outlook on the animal world." But what will surely cause the biggest controversy is Bulliet's fascinating argument that an "increasing fascination with fantasies of sex and blood" among post-WWII Americans is a subliminal reaction to the removal of animals other than pets-along with animal slaughter and animal sex-from their childhood experiences. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"His book presents a provocative look at human-animal relations that offers a heady but highly readable mix of anthropology...environmentalism and philosophy." -- Publishers Weekly "A precisely researched, logically presented, and candidly intriguing apologia for humankind's inconsistent relationship with animals." -- Booklist "Bulliet has an impressive knowledge of archaeozoology and the history of human relationships with animals." -- Juliet Clutton-Brock, Times Literary Supplement " "Bulliet's writing is irreverent seasoned with humor, and sprinkled with pop references that draw in nonscholarly readers." -- Scott Carlson, Utne "You may never look at a pet, or a burger, in quite the same way again." -- Mark Thompson, Ecologist "The book is notable for many stimulating and original ideas." -- Linda Wiener, Science Books & Films "This is an original, well-written and fascinating work, a riveting read." -- Barbara Noske, Anthropological Forum "This book is a welcome addition to the literature... We need more such works." -- Edmund Russell, Technology and Culture

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