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13 teosta 133 jäsentä 1 Review

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Linda Kalof is Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University.

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Kalof goes wrong from the very first word: "we." Clearly she means "we humans," since, of course, humans are animals too. So it's deeply anthropocentric, here and throughout.

Worse still, despite the title, it's deeply anglocentric. To be fair, I read only the chapter on the Middle Ages, but, without any but English-language scholarship (or, here and there, a few translations), it's no wonder that she concentrates on medieval England. That would be fine had her book NOT been called "In Human History."

Her preface trumpets her own deep research ("In researching this book I have consulted a very large number of books and articles": incidentally, this is just a weird thing for an academic to say), and she uses a few good articles, by Rob Meens, Esther Cohen, Debra Hassig, Jean Birrell. Overall, however, she relies on untheorized and, worse, out-of-date scholarship: Keith Thomas (1983, and not a medievalist), Lynn White (1962) and Joseph Strutt (1801!). In at least one case, one source (Oscar Brownstein on animal baiting in England) contradicts another (Strutt). Note that had she read the Brownstein more carefully, she would have moved the bear- and boar-baiting section to the 'Renaissance' chapter, since there's just not evidence (unless REED says otherwise?) for widespread *entertainment* of this sort prior to the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

Basically, the medieval chapter is a heavily diluted, sloppy distillation of Joyce E. Salisbury's The Beast Within (1994). If this chapter is representative, the rest should be avoided.

… (lisätietoja)
 
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karl.steel | Apr 2, 2013 |

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Teokset
13
Jäseniä
133
Suosituimmuussija
#152,660
Arvio (tähdet)
3.0
Kirja-arvosteluja
1
ISBN:t
39

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