Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?

Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?

The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization

Book - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
In a brilliant combination of historical sleuthing and journalistic exploration on four continents, a renowned science writer takes readers on an adventure from prehistory to the modern era that follows the animal most crucial to the spread of civilization across the globe—the chicken. 40,000 first printing.

Blackwell Publishing
"Prizewinning journalist Andrew Lawler takes on the world in this elegant and engaging paean to poultry. Part travelog, part scientific history, all rollicking good fun, this marvelous journalistic exploration scours six continents to bring us a deep appreciation and understanding of our uneasy relationship with one of nature's most fascinating creatures. Astonishing."---ELLEN RUPPEL SHELL

author of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

"Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? is an eye-opening journey that restores the chicken to its proper place in human history. You'll be surprised by how much you didn't know."---DAVID GRIMM

author of Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs

"This fast-paced and well-written book reads like a detective story. Who would have guessed that the humble chicken's exotic past would make such a fascinating tale full of high-stakes intrigue? If you want to be educated and entertained---move this book to the top of your reading list."---WENONAH HAUTER

author of Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America

"Surprising and delightful. This engaging and provocative book tracks the chicken's transformation from gorgeous red jungle fowl to today's highly engineered animal. A fascinating read that adds to the mounting pile of evidence that animals, even chickens, are capable of much more than we usually think."---VIRGINIA MORELL

author of Animal Wise: How We Know Animals Think and Feel

"This is an appealing, beautifully written exploration of an important but hitherto neglected major player in our history. I'll never think about chickens the same way again."---BRIAN FAGAN

author of The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels

Baker
& Taylor

"From ancient empires to modern economics, veteran journalist Andrew Lawler delivers a sweeping history of the animal that has been most crucial to the spread of civilization across the globe--the chicken. Queen Victoria was obsessed with it. Socrates' last words were about it. Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur made their scientific breakthroughs using it. Catholic popes, African shamans, Chinese philosophers, and Muslim mystics praised it. Throughout the history of civilization, humans have embraced it in every form imaginable--as a messenger of the gods, powerful sex symbol, gambling aid, emblem of resurrection, all-purpose medicine, handy research tool, inspiration for bravery, epitome of evil, and, of course, as the star of the world's most famous joke. In Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?, science writer Andrew Lawler takes us on an adventure from prehistory to the modern era with a fascinating account of the partnership between human and chicken (the most successful of all cross-species relationships). Beginning with the recent discovery in Montana that the chicken's unlikely ancestor is T. rex, this book builds on Lawler's popular Smithsonian cover article, How the Chicken Conquered the World to track the chicken from its original domestication in the jungles of Southeast Asia some 10,000 years ago to postwar America, where it became the most engineered of animals, to the uncertain future of what is now humanity's single most important source of protein. In a masterful combination of historical sleuthing and journalistic exploration on four continents, Lawler reframes the way we feel and think about our most important animal partner--and, by extension, all domesticated animals, and even nature itself. Lawler's narrative reveals the secrets behind the chicken's transformation from a shy jungle bird into an animal of astonishing versatility, capable of serving our species' changing needs. For no other siren has called humans to rise, shine, and prosper quite like the rooster's cry: Cock-a-doodle-doo!"--
Takes readers on an adventure from prehistory to the modern era that follows the animal most crucial to the spread of civilization across the globe--the chicken.

Simon and Schuster
From ancient empires to modern economics, veteran journalist Andrew Lawler delivers a sweeping history of the animal that has been most crucial to the spread of civilization across the globe—the chicken.

Queen Victoria was obsessed with it. Socrates’ last words were about it. Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur made their scientific breakthroughs using it. Catholic popes, African shamans, Chinese philosophers, and Muslim mystics praised it. Throughout the history of civilization, humans have embraced it in every form imaginable—as a messenger of the gods, powerful sex symbol, gambling aid, emblem of resurrection, all-purpose medicine, handy research tool, inspiration for bravery, epitome of evil, and, of course, as the star of the world’s most famous joke.

In Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?, science writer Andrew Lawler takes us on an adventure from prehistory to the modern era with a fascinating account of the partnership between human and chicken (the most successful of all cross-species relationships). Beginning with the recent discovery in Montana that the chicken’s unlikely ancestor is T. rex, this book builds on Lawler’s popular Smithsonian cover article, “How the Chicken Conquered the World” to track the chicken from its original domestication in the jungles of Southeast Asia some 10,000 years ago to postwar America, where it became the most engineered of animals, to the uncertain future of what is now humanity’s single most important source of protein.

In a masterful combination of historical sleuthing and journalistic exploration on four continents, Lawler reframes the way we feel and think about our most important animal partner—and, by extension, all domesticated animals, and even nature itself.

Lawler’s narrative reveals the secrets behind the chicken’s transformation from a shy jungle bird into an animal of astonishing versatility, capable of serving our species’ changing needs. For no other siren has called humans to rise, shine, and prosper quite like the rooster’s cry: “cock-a-doodle-doo!”

Publisher: New York : Atria Books, [2014]
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476729893
1476729891
Branch Call Number: 636.5 L423w
Characteristics: ix, 324 pages ; 24 cm

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ChristchurchLib Feb 10, 2015

At any given moment on planet Earth, chickens outnumber humans three to one. And if we ever colonize other worlds, they'll probably accompany us there (they are biologically better equipped for space travel). Gallus gallus domesticus, the domesticated version of the red jungle fowl, can be found on nearly every continent (except Antarctica) and in all countries but one (Vatican City). But how exactly did this skittish South Asian bird conquer the world? To find out, be sure to read this fascinating book. Nature and Science newsletter February 2015.

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