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A multitude of creatures have played central roles in the development of humankind—but they have largely remained at the periphery of our understanding of history. Eric Chaline’s Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History is a beautifully presented guide to the animals that have had the greatest impact on human civilization, from advancements in science to the prosecution of wars, the spread of disease to the cultivation of food.
Organized alphabetically (except for Homo sapiens, which is featured last), the animals are featured in more than 150 elegant drawings, photographs and paintings, as well as excerpts from literature, that highlight the concise text. Each animal is judged by its influence in four categories: Edible—animals that have shaped agriculture; Medical—animals that are “disease vectors,” spreading bacteria and viruses, from malaria to plague; Commercial—animals used for trade or in manufacturing; and Practical—animals used for transportation or clothing.
The animals described here are familiar, but their roles in human history are easily overlooked. This attractive reference gives us a fresh perspective on our place in the animal kingdom.
Hardcover Book : 224 pages
Publisher: Firefly Books ( September 01, 2011 )
Item #: 13-415494
Product Dimensions: 6.75 x 9.0 inches
Product Weight: 25.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
The idea is interesting and the book started out well. However it soon became apparent that the point of the book is to emphasize the theory of evolution. It soon became tiresome reading about billions of years of evolution and how the animals came from the sea and then went back. Boring.
Reviewer: Carol C