Wild animals have fascinated human
observers since time immemorial. The story of our interest in
collecting, classifying and dominating nature looms large; thus it
is surprising that the history of menageries, zoological gardens and
zoos as we know them today has been so poorly documented. Zoo
aims to address this gap. In the Renaissance, wealthy aristocrats
showcased exotic beasts in private menageries. Safely caged, animals
inspired the interest of naturalists and fed the curiosity of the
masses. By the 19th century, increased urbanization and colonization
aided the expansion of zoos in which animals were tamed to serve as
domesticated livestock. Nowadays, with many natural habitats under
threat of extinction, the social function of zoos is less clear.
Such institutions both present the illusion of wild animals in a
natural state to a nostalgic public and find themselves justifying
their existence as saviours of endangered species.
Condition: Very Good in Very Good dustkacket. (Click
on image above for close-up of front cover).