A Dog's History of America: How Our Best Friend Explored, Conquered, and Settled a Continent

Front Cover
Macmillan, Sep 14, 2005 - History - 400 pages
1 Review
Wherever humans have gone in the New World, dogs have been their companions, from the time people crossed the Bering Land Bridge some twenty thousand years ago.
In this remarkable history of the interaction between humans and dogs, Mark Derr looks at the ways in which we have used canines-as sled dogs and sheepdogs, hounds and Seeing Eye dogs, guard dogs, show dogs, and bomb-sniffing dogs-as he tracks changes in American culture and society. From the Spanish conquest of the Americas to the English colonial period, from the age of revolution to slavery, from World War II to the Vietnam War, Derr weaves a remarkable tapestry of heroism, betrayal, tragedy, kindness, abuse, and unique companionship. The result is an enlightening perspective on American history through the eyes of humanity's best friend.

What people are saying - Write a review

A DOG'S HISTORY OF AMERICA: How Our Best Friend Explored, Conquered, and Settled a Continent

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A consummate and loving tribute to canines as well as a comprehensive history, seamlessly blending facts, anecdotes, and ideas.Though rigorously unsentimental, Derr (Dog's Best Friend, 1997, etc ... Read full review

A dog's history of America: how our best friend explored, conquered, and settled a continent

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this weighty volume, Derr (Dog's Best Friend: Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship ) demonstrates the impact that American culture has had on dogs and vice versa. He starts with the crossing of the ... Read full review


First People and Dogs Settle the New World and
Dogs of Mayhem and Slaughter 23
The English Take Hold Spread Out 46
Washington Lafayette and Jefferson Make 73
Travels with Dog 98
The Domestication 175
Seeking New Frontiers 203
Hot War Cold War Race War 293
The Good the Bad and the Dog or New Games for 323
Notes 35i
Acknowledgments 367

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Mark Derr is the author of several books, most recently Dog's Best Friend: Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship. He writes regularly for The New York Times, and lives with his wife in Florida.

Mark Derr is also the author of Some Kind of Paradise: A Chronicle of Man and the Land in Florida and The Frontiersman: The Real Life and the Many Legends of Davy Crockett. As an expert on the subject of dogs, he has appeared regularly on The Charlie Rose Show, and in documentaries for A & E and The Discovery Channel. He writes regularly for Atlantic Monthly, Natural History, Smithsonian and The New York Times, among others.

Bibliographic information