Dogs Make Us Human: A Global Family Album

Overview

Famed wildlife photographer Art Wolfe has chosen one hundred of his favorite photographs of dogs- including shots from every continent of the world-and teamed up with bestselling animal writer Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson to create a remarkable book that will be treasured by dog lovers far and wide. From Tibet to New York City, from Mongolia to Paris, Peru, and Ghana-in fact everywhere on earth, we see dogs living with humans in a kind of intimacy not found with any other animal. It is impossible to view these ...

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Overview

Famed wildlife photographer Art Wolfe has chosen one hundred of his favorite photographs of dogs- including shots from every continent of the world-and teamed up with bestselling animal writer Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson to create a remarkable book that will be treasured by dog lovers far and wide. From Tibet to New York City, from Mongolia to Paris, Peru, and Ghana-in fact everywhere on earth, we see dogs living with humans in a kind of intimacy not found with any other animal. It is impossible to view these astonishing photographs without agreeing with Masson and Wolfe that there is no other relationship in nature quite like that between dogs and humans. The renowned author of Dogs Never Lie About Love offers deep insight into that relationship. For fifteen thousand years, Masson tells us, humans have encouraged dogs to become part of our lives, because we like being around them. And they, too, like being around us. As Masson points out, dogs don't care about our status, our color, our ethnicity; the biases, prejudices, and presuppositions of humans are foreign to dogs. Our cross-species friendship is a universal relationship that cuts across all cultures and continents. The mystery of it still defies explanation, but these extraordinary photographs reveal that its uniqueness is understood throughout the world.

Praise for Dogs Make Us Human:

"Dogs Make Us Human will be greatly appreciated by dog-lovers everywhere. The text is heartwarming, and the photographs are beautiful. The book is a triumph."- Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608195657
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 976,199
  • Product dimensions: 11.24 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Over the course of his 30-year career, photographer Art Wolfe has worked on every continent and in hundreds of locations. His books include the award-winning Vanishing Act, The High Himalaya, Water: Worlds between Heaven & Earth, The Art of Photographing Nature, as well as numerous children's titles. Graphis included his books Light on the Land and Migrations on its list of the 100 best books published in the 1990s. In 2000 he published his signature work, The Living Wild. Visit his web site at www.artwolfe.com.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is a former psychoanalyst who was, briefly, director of the Freud Archives. He has taught the history of psychoanalysis and journalistic ethics at the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan. At present he is an honorary research associate in the department of philosophy at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand. He is the author of numerous bestselling books on animal emotions, including Dogs Never Lie About Love, When Elephants Weep, and The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving. Visit his web site at www.jeffreymasson.com.

Biography

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s career falls not-so-neatly into two rather distinct phases. In his early days, as a Freudian scholar and disenchanted psychoanalyst, he was an author-combatant (he uses the term “maverick” on his Web site), challenging perceived thinking on Sigmund Freud and therapy itself.

He rankled sensibilities, attracted often-harsh criticism and lost his post as guardian of the Freud Archives. He even became embroiled in one of the most notorious libel battles of recent times, alleging that writer Janet Malcolm made up quotes in her highly unflattering two-part profile of him in the New Yorker in 1983.

In the second -- and more commercially successful -- phase, Masson has instead focused his psychological insights on a community that cannot talk back: the animal kingdom. Beginning with When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Life of Animals in 1995, Masson has put dogs, cats, mongooses, etc., on the couch, explaining that they, just like their more litigious bipedal cousins, have feelings.

"A masterpiece,” said Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of a similar classic, The Hidden Life of Dogs, “the most comprehensive and compelling argument for animal sensibility that I've yet seen."

Even amid the controversy of the early part of his career, Masson garnered positive reviews for his translations of Sigmund Freud’s letters and his passionate critiques of psychotherapy. (To be sure, he garnered less glowing ones as well.) A former Sanskrit scholar, Masson was placed in the care of the famous doctor’s archives. But when his research in those same archives turned up correspondence that he said discredited Freudian’s theories about sexual abuse among children, he made those findings public. He lost his position and faced the wrath of Freud’s defenders.

In the Nation, though, he found support. Reviewing Masson’s book on the discovery, the newspaper wrote: “Those who bother to read The Assault on Truth will probably be surprised to discover that the book is a lavishly documented, carefully reasoned work, written in a straightforward, readable style, with only occasional polemical flourishes. The passion of the book is that of a scholar trying to solve a puzzle; only now and then does the voice break to reveal the bewildered outrage and pain of the recently excommunicated disciple.”

His translation of the letters in question drew praise from The New York Times: "The publication of The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess represents an important moment of truth... The general public can now evaluate at first hand the evidence bearing on the various controversial issues raised by the letters... Of more lasting importance, however, is the insight this new edition provides into the creative process at work in the formation of a fundamentally important scientific theory."

His 1988 attack on therapy itself, Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing was dismissed by many as a screed, but Time pointed out that screeds can sometimes also be wake-up calls: “Masson raises some intriguing points, even if he insists on doing so at the top of his voice. Psychotherapy is a big and largely unchallenged business in the U.S.; many of its practitioners wield considerable influence over personal lives and public policy. Once in a while, it does no harm to listen to an alarmist hollering that some of those shrinks have no clothes.”

Not until Masson turned to the psychological study of animals did he draw the widespread attention of the public at large. When Elephants Weep, written with Susan McCarthy, may have had critics pointing out that his evidence was largely anecdotal – the title, in fact, comes from a story of a circus elephant that collapsed in tears when it couldn’t learn a new routine – but an animal-loving public ate it up. Elephants has been translated into more than 20 languages and has sold more than a half a million copies in the United States alone.

That set the stage for a hugely popular follow-up Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional Lives of Dogs. A bestseller, it won praise from the Los Angeles Times for its risk-taking and uncompromising puppy love. “The strengths that this Sanskrit scholar,” she wrote, “brings to his subject are intelligence, originality and a refreshing willingness to go out on a good number of scientifically unsupported limbs in his enthusiasm for canines.”

Now for the felines. The Nine Emotional Live of Cats: A Journey into the Feline Heart, released in the fall of 2002, again won praise from Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who penned her own ode to the cat, The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture. "An affectionate, completely engaging book full of new insights into the emotional lives of cats,” she said. “Of course, all cats are interesting, but Masson’s five felines seem particularly so – and you don’t need to be a cat lover to enjoy them via these pages."

Masson’s turn to the wild kingdom has brought him financial success certainly, but he says the rewards run even deeper than that. As he told Newsday in 1997, “I learned more about emotions from dogs than I did from my psychoanalysis. I think dogs make better therapists than Freudian analysts… and they don’t cost as much, either.”

Good To Know

Masson legally changed his middle name from Lloyd to Moussaieff in 1975.

In June 1980, when he was interviewing with Sigmund Freud’s 84-year-old daughter Anna for the position to head the Freud Archives, he walked her pet Chow in the back yard.

Masson's long-term goal is to help his wife, Leila, set up a camp for children with chronic illnesses where they can learn alternative methods to diminish pain.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jeffrey Lloyd Masson (birth name, legally changed in 1975)
    2. Hometown:
      Auckland, New Zealand
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 28, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., Harvard, 1964; Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1978, Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard, 1970

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Gorgeous and inspiring

    I'm giving this book to all my dog loving friends this Christmas. Gorgeous photos by Art Wolfe and lively and emotional text by Jeffrey Masson.

    What I like most about this book is that it has avoided the usualy cutesy pictures. Rather it has a kind of multicultural theme. It shows us the universal bond between humans and dogs. With pictures of stone age tribes, asian boat people, African children, and rich snoots on Fifth Avenue.

    The publisher compared this book to The Family of Man. That seems entirely appropriate. And it is time to acknowledge that dogs are part of that universal family as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    Some time ago when Art did the "Creative Live Show,"

    Some time ago when Art did the "Creative Live Show," he spoke about always having other photographic interests he would shoot while he was out on a Major shoot. One of his passions was taking pictures of Dogs, and that someday he would make a book about them. I was delighted to see "Dogs Make us Human" come out, a few months ago. I first ordered it through Library system, but immediately decided I had to have it. It is truly a wonderful book, filled with many joyful pictures of our best friends. It's such a comforting feeling seeing people around the world, all loving their dogs. The captions are very well done with each of the pictures too.
    It shows us this amazing common denominator among us all over our planet! They could teach us a lot about how to treat each other!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Impressive book to add to your collection

    The photographer's expertise in a wide variety of cultural settings blends well with the writer's style and selection of descriptive phrases.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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