Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization

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9781476729893: Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization
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"Andrew Lawler takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of a fundamental source of human protein. 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

"Prize-winning 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--from sex symbol to religious icon to '24-hour two-legged drugstore.' This book challenges not only everything we thought we knew about this most beleaguered bird, but of nature itself. Astonishing."--Ellen Ruppel Shell, Author of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, and Co-Director, Graduate Program in Science Journalism, Boston University

""Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?" 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

"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

"A whole flock of fun. Lawler mixes science and history.... That makes for a well-rounded, informative, and highly enjoyable book... A book you'll crow about."--Terri Schlichenmeyer "Tyler Telegraph "

"Fascinating and delightful... Mr. Lawler's globe-trotting tour shows that the bird has played a remarkable role in human history--and will almost certainly continue to do so. Right out of the chute, Mr. Lawler impresses us with the bird's ubiquity... Readers will laugh--and want to buy Mr. Lawler a drink... What unfolds from this exhaustive reporting is a story not just large in scope but surprising in its details."--Christopher Leonard, author of The Meat Racket "Wall Street Journal "

"Lawler chronicles the impossible journey of the chicken through history. From its roots as a secretive jungle fowl in the wilderness of Southeast Asia millennia ago, the bird has spread across all nations and cultures. But now agricultural science has turned the chicken into a mass-produced factory animal, bred and housed in horrendous assembly-line conditions to provide protein to millions of people. Endlessly fascinating, endlessly heartbreaking."--Tim Gallagher, Editor-in-Chief, Living Bird and author of Imperial Dreams

Andrew Lawler takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of a fundamental source of human protein. 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"

Prize-winning 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 from sex symbol to religious icon to 24-hour two-legged drugstore. This book challenges not only everything we thought we knew about this most beleaguered bird, but of nature itself. Astonishing. --Ellen Ruppel Shell, Author of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, and Co-Director, Graduate Program in Science Journalism, Boston University"

"Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?" 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"

Reseña del editor:

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!”

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ISBN 10: 1476729905 ISBN 13: 9781476729909
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9780715650691: Why Did The Chicken Cross The World?

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