FALL 2010 CATALOG
Beauty and the Beast
Human-Animal Relations as Revealed in Real Photo Postcards, 1905–1935
Arnold Arluke and Robert Bogdan
"Arnold Arluke and Robert Bogdan take the study of animal artifacts—in this case, postcards—to a new level. . . . The range of images in Beauty and the Beast is astonishing."—Anthrozoos
"Beauty and the Beast is a unique book
that is smart, visually stunning and
beautifully written. . . . I know of no
other book that covers the wide array
of roles that animals play in our lives
in a manner that is as intellectually
satisfying and entertaining as this one.
I loved it."—Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love,
Some We Hate, and Some We Eat: Why It’s So
Hard to Think Straight about Animals
From fairy tales to photography, nowhere is the complexity of human-animal
relationships more apparent than in the creative arts. Art illuminates
the nature and significance of animals in modern, Western thought,
capturing the complicated union that has long existed between the animal
kingdom and us. In Beauty and the Beast, authors Arluke and Bogdan
explore this relationship through the unique lens of photo postcards.
This visual medium offers an enormous and relatively untapped archive to
document their subject compellingly.
The importance of photo postcards goes beyond their abundance.
Recognized as the "people’s photography," photo postcards were typically
taken by photographers who were part of the community they were
photographing. Their intimacy with the people and places they captured
resulted in a vernacular record of the life and times of the period
unavailable in other kinds of photography. Arluke and Bogdan use these
postcards to tell the story of human-animal relations in the United States
from approximately 1905 to 1935. During these years, Americans experienced
profound changes that altered their connection with animals and
influenced perceptions and treatment of them today. Wide-ranging in
scope, Beauty and the Beast looks at the variety of roles animals played
in society, from pets and laborers to symbols and prey. The authors
discuss the contradictions, dualisms, and paradoxes of our relationship
to animals, illustrating how animals were distanced and embraced,
commoditized and anthropomorphized. With over 350 illustrations, this
book presents a vivid chronicle of the deep cultural ambivalence that
characterized human-animal relations in the early twentieth century and
that continues today.
Arnold Arluke is professor of sociology and anthropology at Northeastern
University and Senior Research Fellow at the Tufts Center for
Animals and Public Policy. He has published numerous books including
Between the Species and Just a Dog: Animal Cruelty and Ourselves.
Robert Bogdan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social Science
and Education at Syracuse University. He is the author of several books
dealing with photo postcards including Real Photo Postcard Guide: The
People’s Photography, published by Syracuse University Press.
8 1/2 x 11, 344 pages, 359 black-and-white illustrations, notes, references, index