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Beauty and the Beast
Human-Animal Relations as Revealed in Real Photo Postcards, 1905–1935

Arnold Arluke and Robert Bogdan

Cloth $39.95    |    978-0-8156-0981-0    |    2010

"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 Its 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 Peoples Photography, published by Syracuse University Press.

8 1/2 x 11, 344 pages, 359 black-and-white illustrations, notes, references, index

Beauty and the Beast Human-Animal Relations as Revealed in Real Photo Postcards, 1905–1935

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