No Words Wasted Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Interviews | January 9, 2015

    Chris Faatz: IMG Jill Maxick of Prometheus Books: The Interview

    For decades, Prometheus Books has put out titles we both love and respect. Prometheus is the leading publisher in the United States of books on free... Continue »


On Order

New Trade Paper
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Nature Studies- Mammals

Camel (Animal)


Camel (Animal) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A distinct symbol of the desert and the Middle East, the camel was once unkindly described as “half snake, half folding bedstead.” But in the eyes of many the camel is a creature of great beauty. This is most evident in the Arab world, where the camel has played a central role in the historical development of Arabic society—where an elaborate vocabulary and extensive literature have been devoted to it. 

            In Camel, Robert Irwin explores why the camel has fascinated so many cultures, including those cultivated in locales where camels are not indigenous. Here, he traces the history of the camel from its origins millions of years ago to the present day, discussing such matters of contemporary concern as the plight of camel herders in Sudans war-torn Darfur region, the alarming increase in the population of feral camels in Australia, and the endangered status of the wild Bactrian in Mongolia and China. Throughout history, the camel has been appreciated worldwide for its practicality, resilience, and legendary abilities of survival. As a result it has been featured in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Poussin, Tiepolo, Flaubert, Kipling, and Rose Macaulay, among others. From East to West, Irwins Camel is the first survey of its kind to examine the animals role in society and history throughout the world.

Not just for camel aficionados, this highly illustrated book, containing over 100 informative and unusual images, is sure to entertain and inform anyone interested in this fascinating and exotic animal.

About the Author

Robert Irwin is a former lecturer in medieval history at the University of St Andrews.  He has traveled extensively in the Middle East and India, and is a leading expert on Arab culture.  He is the author of numerous books, including, The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature and For Lust of Knowledge: The Orientalists and Their Enemies.

Table of Contents


1   Physiology and Psychology

2   Ancestors of the Camel

3   Practical Camel

4   Camels in the Medieval World of Islam

5   The Beauty of the Beast: Literature and Art

6   The Camel's Role in History

7   Modernity's Camel

Timeline of the Camel


Select Bibliography

Associations and Websites


Photo Acknowledgements


Product Details

Irwin, Robert
Reaktion Books
Life Sciences - Zoology - General
Animals - Mammals
Nature Studies-Mammals
Edition Description:
Reaktion Books - Animal
Publication Date:
60 color plates, 40 halftones
7.5 x 5.38 in

Other books you might like

  1. In the Bleak Midwinter Used Mass Market $4.50
  2. The Janissary Tree
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. Hand of Evil Used Mass Market $2.50
  4. Purple Cane Road Used Book Club Hardcover $2.95
  5. The Alpine Legacy Used Mass Market $4.50

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Mammals » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Mammals » Ungulates
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Zoology

Camel (Animal) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 Backorder
Product details 232 pages Reaktion Books - English 9781861896490 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at