Princeton University Library Catalog

The animal game : searching for wildness at the American zoo / Daniel E. Bender.

Bender, Daniel E. [Browse]
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2016.
  • ©2016
393 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary note:
Over the twentieth century, as wild, tropical animals became familiar attractions in urban American zoos, they became rare in the wild. Americans who made zoos the nation's most popular attractions, developed closer knowledge of tropical animals, especially those from regions colonized by American and European powers. Founded as a living taxonomy of exotic nature, such zoos never achieved the biological and social order their founders so cherished. Workers, animals, and visitors did not behave in ways that matched zoo officials' or founders' visions. Tourists fed the animals, littered, even poached. They sought tales of animal adventure more than science lessons. This book examines the development of zoos and the animal trade that supplied them and how they were both buffeted by global politics, imperialism, revolution, and war. Through the paradox of animals that were endangered yet familiar and entwined in our daily lives, "Animal Empire" fosters a dialogue between those charged with conserving the future, those concerned about the effects of the past, and those who gaze at zoo animals and wonder about places, nature, and people they are unlikely ever to see in person. Through zoos, we have learned to look at faraway places, environments, and peoples through the lens of endangered animals. Animal and human lives dramatically collided in the twentieth century and "Animal Empire" is a global history as it appeared at the zoo through the life and death of the animals, the keepers who mucked out their cages and reared their young, the traders who captured animals and the imagination of the American public, and the zoo officials who have helped make the idea of animal endangerment a key indictment of our contemporary civilization.-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction: The zoo parade -- The elephant's skin: animals and their visitors -- The voyage of the Silverash: the big business of tropical animals -- Jungleland: the money in wildlife -- The monkeys' island: the New Deal builds a modern zoo -- Aping: African animals on zoo stages -- Don't feed the keepers: the labor and care of zookeepers -- The zoo man's holiday: adventuring for the zoo -- My animal babies: caring for endangered species -- Dangerous safari: conservation at the end of empire -- Conclusion: Searching for the Yeti.
  • 9780674737341 (hardcover)
  • 0674737342 (hardcover)
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