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Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History


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About the Author

Eric Chaline is a journalist and writer and has published titles on philosophy, including The Book of Zen and The Book of Gods, and on history, including Traveler's Guide to the Ancient World: Ancient Greece, History's Worst Inventions, History's Greatest Deceptions and History's Worst Predictions. He now lives and works in London, England, where he is conducting doctoral research in sociology at South Bank University.


[It] will no doubt be popular even as an informal addition to any education setting.--Philip LiWei"The Green Teacher" (06/30/2012)
Fifty Animals reminds us of our relationships with our biosphere brothers and sisters, and the delicate balance this all entails.--Martin Lockley"Network Review, The Scientific and Medical Network" (03/01/2012)
A simple writing style makes this book ideal for younger students, and it would be a wonderful addition for any classroom studying animals, while the intriguing trivia and historical references found in accompanying side-bars will engage even the most experienced adult reader. Be prepared when you compare your list of animals to the ones selected for this book, the last entry is one you most likely overlooked.-- (02/01/2012)
Humans are the most successful species of mammal to ever walk the earth, according to author Chaline. We have needed help to claim and shape the planet, and we may still be beaten by what we consider to be lower forms of life. In 49 informative essays, the author profiles mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and other species that have assisted or resisted the human takeover.... The fiftieth essay is about us, and how we may be our own worst enemy.... Natural-history students will find the essays helpful introductions to further study. A website guide included. Recommended for most public libraries.-- (12/01/2011)
A companion to Fifty Plants That Changed the Course of History, Fifty Animals is the same sort of inspired invitation to browsing, with short but informative essays on each of the subjects, rich in illustrations, excerpts and sidebars. It's the sort of book that has you saying Wow, listen to this and Did you know... to companions over and over.-- (09/24/2011)
Readers may choose to read only the essays that interest them. Natural-history students will find the essays helpful introductions to further study. A website guide is included. Recommended for most public libraries.-- (12/01/2011)
(reviewed with Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History) These two volumes from Firefly uncover some of the most interesting stories of how animals and plants have impacted human civilization in economic, political, and industrial history. This is an original approach that links the biological sciences to the social sciences and students and general readers will find many interesting stories within these pages.-- (04/01/2012)
This interesting and pleasingly illustrated a timely reminder that all creatures great and small are co-habitants of the biosphere of which we are an integral part... Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History is full of interesting facts, and Chaline shows a sense of balance in selecting those most pertinent to the biological, medicinal, cultural and historical importance of his protagonists. Thus, one is sure to learn an assortment of factoids... Fifty Animals reminds us of our relationships with our biosphere brothers and sisters, and the delicate balance this all entails.-- (11/01/2012)
This is a fun read. Each animal has its own section and each section is anywhere from two (Dodo, Carp and Cochineal) to eight pages (Human) in length. Chaline's book is visually pleasing...There are some striking photographs and drawings that highlight each section. Wide margins provide space for informational boxes... Special interest boxes...present some intriguing aspect of the animal's contribution to history... I admire Chaline's attempt to create and justify such an interesting and thought-provoking list... It is well written and a pleasure to read.-- (12/01/2012)

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