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From the first wolf to find companionship in our prehistoric ancestors' camp, to the beasts who bore the weight of our early empires, to the whole spectrum of brutally exploited or absurdly pampered pets of our industrial age, animals--and our ever-changing relationship with them--have left an indelible mark on the history of our species and continue to shape its future.
Through an in-depth analysis of six truly transformative human-animal relationships, Fagan shows how our habits and our very way of life were considerably and irreversibly altered by our intimate bond with animals. Among other stories, Fagan explores how herding changed human behavior; how the humble donkey helped launch the process of globalization; and how the horse carried a hearty band of nomads across the world and toppled the emperor of China.
With characteristic care and penetrating insight, Fagan reveals the profound influence that animals have exercised on human history and how, in fact, they often drove it.