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In the Company of Crows and Ravensby John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell
Synopses & Reviews
“Crows and people share similar traits and social strategies. To a surprising extent, to know the crow is to know ourselves.”—from the Preface
From the cave walls at Lascaux to the last painting by Van Gogh, from the works of Shakespeare to those of Mark Twain, there is clear evidence that crows and ravens influence human culture. Yet this influence is not unidirectional, say the authors of this fascinating book: people profoundly influence crow culture, ecology, and evolution as well.
John Marzluff and Tony Angell examine the often surprising ways that crows and humans interact. The authors contend that those interactions reflect a process of “cultural coevolution.” They offer a challenging new view of the human-crow dynamic; a view that may change our thinking not only about crows but also about ourselves.
Featuring more than 100 original drawings, the book takes a close look at the influences people have had on the lives of crows throughout history and at the significant ways crows have altered human lives. In the Company of Crows and Ravens illuminates the entwined histories of crows and people and concludes with an intriguing discussion of the crow-human relationship and how our attitudes toward crows may affect our cultural trajectory.
The pigeon is the quintessential city bird. Domesticated thousands of years ago as a messenger and a source of food, its presence on our sidewalks is so common that people consider the bird a nuisanceandmdash;if they notice it at all. Yet pigeons are also kept for pleasure, sport, and profit by people all over the world, from the andldquo;pigeon warsandrdquo; waged by breeding enthusiasts in the skies over Brooklyn to the Million Dollar Pigeon Race held every year in South Africa.
Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork across three continents, Colin Jerolmack traces our complex and often contradictory relationship with these versatile animals in public spaces such as Veniceandrsquo;s Piazza San Marco and Londonandrsquo;s Trafalgar Square and in working-class and immigrant communities of pigeon breeders in New York and Berlin. By exploring what he calls andldquo;the social experience of animals,andrdquo; Jerolmack shows how our interactions with pigeons offer surprising insights into city life, community, culture, and politics. Theoretically understated and accessible to interested readers of all stripes, The Global Pigeon is one of the best and most original ethnographies to be published in decades.
In their book, Marzluff and Angell illuminate the entwined histories of crows and people and conclude with an intriguing discussion of the crow-human relationship and how our attitudes toward crows may affect our cultural trajectory.
About the Author
JOHN M. MARZLUFF is Denman Professor of Sustainable Resource Sciences and professor of wildlife science, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington. TONY ANGELL is an artist and writer living in Seattle, Washington. Together the authors combine more than 60 years of scientific and artistic fascination with crows and their bird relatives.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Experiencing the City through the Quintessential Urban Bird
Part 1: The Pedestrian Pigeon
1 Feeding the Pigeons: Sidewalk Sociability in Greenwich Village
2 and#8220;Do Not Feed the Pigeonsand#8221;: Cultural Heritage and the Politics of Place in Venice and London
Part 2: The Totemic Pigeon
3 New Yorkand#8217;s Rooftop Pigeon Flyers: Crafting Nature and Anchoring the Self
4 The Turkish Pigeon Caretakers of Berlin: Primordial Ties in a Migrant Community
5 Joeyand#8217;s Brooklyn Pet Shop: Cosmopolitan Ties in a Changing Urban Landscape
Part 3: Deep Play
6 The Bronx Homing Pigeon Club: Nature, Nurture, and the Enchantment of and#8220;the Poor Manand#8217;s Horse Racingand#8221;
7 South Africaand#8217;s Million Dollar Pigeon Race: Rationalizing and Globalizing and#8220;the Pigeon Gameand#8221;
8 Conclusion: Changing Ecologies
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