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

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Macmillan, Sep 14, 2005 - History - 400 pages
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In this fascinating history, Mark Derr, a regular contributor to the science section of The New York Times, looks at the ways in which we have relied on canines over the centuries to reshape the continent and examines how that often intimate relationship reflects who we are at a given cultural moment. Derr explores the varied roles of sled dogs, war dogs, guide dogs, show dogs, and bomb-sniffing dogs while recounting the exploits of such remarkable canines as the notorious San Francisco street dogs Bummer and Lazarus-and Fala, the intrepid Scottish terrier of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who still stands first among all "presidential" pooches. A Dog's History of America weaves a remarkable tapestry of heroism, betrayal, tragedy, kindness, abuse, and unique companionship, offering an enlightening perspective on American history through the eyes of humanity's best friend. Book jacket.

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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

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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.

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