Bears: A Brief History

Bears: A Brief History

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by Bernd Brunner
     
 

This engaging book examines the shared history of people and bears. Hopscotching through history, literature, and science, Bernd Brunner presents a rich compendium of the interactions between the two species and explores how bears have become central figures in our inventory of myths and dreams. He reveals the remarkable extent to which human feelings about bears

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Overview

This engaging book examines the shared history of people and bears. Hopscotching through history, literature, and science, Bernd Brunner presents a rich compendium of the interactions between the two species and explores how bears have become central figures in our inventory of myths and dreams. He reveals the remarkable extent to which human feelings about bears have been—and still are—mixed. People have venerated, killed, caressed, tortured, nurtured, eaten, worshipped, and despised bears. Interestingly, the varied dealings of humans with bears raise the same question over and again: do our images of bears have much in common with the animal as it really is?

The book uncovers new and little-known stories and facts about bears in European, North American, Japanese, Russian, and South and Southeast Asian cultures. Taken together, these perspectives show us new things about the animals we thought we knew so well. Quirky and bizarre anecdotes, scientific information on bears threatened with extinction in some areas, a discussion of the phenomenon of “bearanoia,” and more than one hundred historical illustrations contribute to this unique account of the shared history between bears and humans and the continuing presence of bears in our personal and collective dreams.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300143126
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
12/02/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,517,922
Product dimensions:
4.60(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Bernd Brunner, a graduate of the Free University of Berlin and Berlin School of Economics, is an independent scholar, freelance writer, and editor of nonfiction books. He is the author of The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium. Lori Lantz received a Ph.D. in comparative literature from UCLA and attended the Free University of Berlin as a Fulbright Scholar.

Table of Contents

Contents
INTRODUCTION....................1
ONE Tracking the Paths of Bears....................9
TWO Transformations....................19
THREE The Mystery of the Cave Bear....................37
FOUR False Steps....................49
FIVE Exotic Discoveries....................63
SIX The Bear's Personality....................77
SEVEN Sounds, Senses, Signals....................91
EIGHT Bears as Pets....................103
NINE An Observer in Eastern Siberia....................117
TEN Face to Face....................125
ELEVEN Hunters and Hunted....................141
TWELVE The Inuit and Polar Bears....................161
THIRTEEN Closer Than Close....................171
FOURTEEN Bears on Show....................183
FIFTEEN Bear Substitutes....................211
SIXTEEN "Bearanoia"....................221
EPILOGUE....................233
Acknowledgments....................237
Bibliographic Essay....................239
Selected Bibliography....................245
Index....................253
Credits....................260

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