Book ID: CBB221470838

The Animal Game: Searching for Wildness at the American Zoo (2016)


Bender, Daniel E. (Author)

Harvard University Press

Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 400 pages
Language: English

The spread of empires in the nineteenth century brought more than new territories and populations under Western sway. Animals were also swept up in the net of imperialism, as jungles and veldts became colonial ranches and plantations. A booming trade in animals turned many strange and dangerous species into prized commodities. Tigers from India, pythons from Malaya, and gorillas from the Congo found their way―sometimes by shady means―to the zoos of major U.S. cities, where they created a sensation.Zoos were among the most popular attractions in the United States for much of the twentieth century. Stoking the public’s fascination, savvy zookeepers, animal traders, and zoo directors regaled visitors with stories of the fierce behavior of these creatures in their native habitats, as well as daring tales of their capture. Yet as tropical animals became increasingly familiar to the American public, they became ever more rare in the wild. Tracing the history of U.S. zoos and the global trade and trafficking in animals that supplied them, Daniel Bender examines how Americans learned to view faraway places and peoples through the lens of the exotic creatures on display.Over time, as the zoo’s mission shifted from offering entertainment to providing a refuge for endangered species, conservation parks replaced pens and cages. The Animal Game recounts Americans’ ongoing, often conflicted relationship with zoos, decried as anachronistic prisons by animal rights activists even as they remain popular centers of education and preservation.

Reviewed By

Review Jesse C. Donahue (2017) Review of "The Animal Game: Searching for Wildness at the American Zoo". American Historical Review (pp. 1630-1631). unapi

Review Mark V. Barrow (April 2018) Review of "The Animal Game: Searching for Wildness at the American Zoo". Environmental History (pp. 401-402). unapi

Review Takashi Ito (2018) Review of "The Animal Game: Searching for Wildness at the American Zoo". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 432-433). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Jacoby, Karl H.
Haas, Elbieta
Hanson, Elizabeth
Alagona, Peter S.
Cowie, Helen
Gómez-Centurión Jiménez, Carlos
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Environmental History
Journal of the History of Collections
Archives of Natural History
Technology and Culture
University of Chicago Press
University of California Press
Princeton University Press
Junta de Castilla y León, Consejería de Cultura y Turismo
Temple University
University of Rochester
Science and society
Collectors and collecting
Conservation biology
MacIver, Robert Morrison
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
18th century
21st century
20th century, early
United States
North America
Great Britain
Yellowstone National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Adirondack State Park
Columbia University (New York City)
Zoological Society of London
Leeds Museums and Galleries

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