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A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement

A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement

by Ernest Freeberg


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From an award-winning historian, the outlandish story of the man who gave rights to animals.

In Gilded Age America, people and animals lived cheek-by-jowl in environments that were dirty and dangerous to man and beast alike. The industrial city brought suffering, but it also inspired a compassion for animals that fueled a controversial anti-cruelty movement. From the center of these debates, Henry Bergh launched a shocking campaign to grant rights to animals.

A Traitor to His Species is revelatory social history, awash with colorful characters. Cheered on by thousands of men and women who joined his cause, Bergh fought with robber barons, Five Points gangs, and legendary impresario P.T. Barnum, as they pushed for new laws to protect trolley horses, livestock, stray dogs, and other animals.

Raucous and entertaining, A Traitor to His Species tells the story of a remarkable man who gave voice to the voiceless and shaped our modern relationship with animals.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465093861
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 09/22/2020
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 368,305
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Ernest Freeberg is a distinguished professor of humanities and head of the history department at the University of Tennessee. He has authored three award-winning books, including The Age of Edison. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Table of Contents

Introduction A New Form of Goodness 1

Chapter 1 Something Bold and Outrageous 7

Chapter 2 The Riddle of the Nineteenth Century 21

Chapter 3 A Radical Gospel of Kindness 31

Chapter 4 Horse Trolley 47

Chapter 5 Barnum and Bergh 63

Chapter 6 Beneath the Struggling Beasts: Henry Bergh and Kit Burns 75

Chapter 7 America's First Energy Crisis 91

Chapter 8 The Movement Grows 115

Chapter 9 Market Murder 121

Chapter 10 Civilized Slaughter 141

Chapter 11 Genteel Ruffians 161

Chapter 12 The War on Dogs 181

Chapter 13 Bergh's Perverted Philanthropy Challenged 213

Chapter 14 What About Cruelty to Humans? 227

Chapter 15 Animals as Spectacle 245

Chapter 16 Legacy 263

Acknowledgments 277

Notes 279

Index 309

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