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The Lost History of the Canine Race: Our 15,000-Year Love Affair With Dogs Hardcover – Oct 1996

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews Mcmeel Pub (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836205480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836205480
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #702,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Kirkus Reviews

Early on in this sprightly study, one thing becomes clear: Canines have been good for us, but we haven't always repaid the kindness. Thurston, an anthropologist, was spurred to write this history when she discovered that artifacts and documents relating to our life with dogs were fast disappearing. She believes that dogs are an important facet in the spiritual and emotional evolution of humans: They give us a sense of the other, foster the deep pleasure of empathy, even serve as four-footed therapists. And, sadly, for many of us ``canines are our one and only link to the natural world that has shaped the human psyche for eons.'' So she set out to gather as much evidence regarding the dog-human nexus as she could. Thurston rakes over archaeological finds that hint at an early date for dog-human bonding (as hunting confederates?) and stresses that domestication led to arrested canine development, with dogs becoming physically and emotionallly dependent on humans after puppyhood. In Egypt she finds a gold mine of evidence on domestication, including canine mummies, and at Pompeii she discovers mosaic beware of dog warnings. She outlines feudal cults of the hunt and lavish Renaissance breeding schemes. Dog uses and abuses are surveyed--the animals served as ancient and modern warriors, as turnspits (hitched to a treadmill to turn the hearth spit). They also serve as a market for affluent material trappings- -haircuts, dog food, pet cemetaries, and the market for purebreds are critiqued. Thurston's affection for dogs is everywhere evident: Readers will sense her outrage at their mistreatment and exploitation, her approval of societies that give dogs respect. A fascinating slice of cultural history, and a sterling tribute to dogs through the centuries. (color and b&w illustrations, not seen) (Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club selection) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
After getting past the very unpleasant history of Man and Dog..., well it wes never truly finished. But the book is an excellent read and has a place on your book shelf. She presents some interesting modern potential actions that us dog people can take, too. Last chapter and the one on war-dogs was the best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very disappointed; old and yellow --so old; It was a gift for Christmas, but I cannot give it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0d72ea0) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f657b28) out of 5 stars Lost History is a MUST HAVE book for dog lovers! Nov. 25 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I got Mary Thurston's THE LOST HISTORY OF THE CANINE RACE, expecting to learn some interesting bits about the heritage of our best friends. What I found was all that and so much more. From the mysterious circumstances surrounding the emergence of dogs at the end of the Ice Age, to a profoundly eloquent examination of canine "history in the making" and the emergence of a global pet society on the advent of the 21st century. Ancient Egyptian dog mummies, medieval Turnspits, Victorian dog shows, the valiant American K9 Corp of WWII, and so much more. Beautifully illustrated throughout, The Lost History offers something for everyone who's ever lived with a dog, pure or mixed breed. A must-have addition to pet libraries everywhere, this book has changed the very core of my relationship with canines.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f65800c) out of 5 stars best dog book ever Oct. 12 2009
By Susanne Sandidge - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an important book, the kind you keep and don't loan out for fear it won't be returned. Most books about dogs are mostly pablum: descriptions of what each breed what developed for, a few heartwarming stories. This book describes a lot of the dark side of the human-dog relationship. I was stunned at descriptions of the way the Spaniards used vicious dogs against the Indians of South America, the endless work loads of "turnspits" and cart dogs, and much more. This has the best description I have seen of how social class has affected the lives of dogs. I never realized how many kinds of dogs have been allowed to die out because they were considered lower class. A must read!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05c64ec) out of 5 stars What About Africa? June 20 2006
By Helen W. Mallon - Published on
Format: Paperback
This well-researched, entertaining and readable book makes a subtle omission. While laying out a convincing case for the wolf origins of domestic dogs, there is little discussion of how early canines migrated from their beginnings in Asia to every continent. The early chapters shift focus from stone age times in Europe to the civilisation of Ancient Egypt, where, the author states, exotic dogs such as Basenjis were "imported" from Africa (overlooking the fact that Egypt is in Africa). How did Asian wolves become African Basenjis? And how did wolves come to Australia?

Unfortunately, Africa is not mentioned in the book's index, making an indexed study of "The Lost History" difficult.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f65e4b0) out of 5 stars Historical overview of the relationship between humans and dogs June 21 2010
By Yolanda S. Bean - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Obviously as a dog owner, I am the prime audience for this book and i did enjoy it. Though I was a bit disappointed, to be honest. I thought there would have been more about the domestication of dogs and I was surprised by the lack. But this was a good book that functions more of a historical overview on the relationship between humans and dogs. Sections of it were downright heartbreaking (particularly the chapter on war dogs), but it really was just an overview, lacking in a lot of details. And some of that lack was explained since archaeologists and historians have typically tended to focus on humanity and even many war records were destroyed regarding dogs. I was surprised that the entire continent of Australia was mentioned, with their dingoes, only in passing. Still, it was a fast read and it did have enlightening sections. I guess my only real complaint was that I wanted more information!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f657ab0) out of 5 stars Lost History of the Canine Race March 19 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The dedication of Mary Elizabeth Thurston's book says it all. She dedicated this book to her grandmother, who taught her the importance of spoiling dogs. This is a person who knows the love of sharing their life with their dog, and writes about dogs from her heart and soul. I think the chapter that stirred the deepest interest was the Dogs of War. These brave dogs and their handlers have often been forgotten, but in Thurston's book they are not only remembered, but truly honored for their contribution to the freedom we enjoy today. Thank you for writing, not just a informational book, but one that shows how much our lives are intermingled with our canine companions.