A Dog's History of America by Mark Derr
How Our Best Friend Explored, Conquered, and Settled a Continent

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Synopsis

Wherever humans have gone in the New World, dogs have been their companions, from the time people crossed the Bering Land Bridge some twenty thousand years ago. In this revelatory history, Mark Derr looks at the ways in which we have used canines—as sled dogs and sheepdogs, hounds and Seeing Eye dogs, guard dogs, show dogs, and bomb-sniffing dogs—as he tracks changes in American culture and society. In A Dog’s History of America, Derr weaves a remarkable tapestry of heroism, betrayal, tragedy, kindness, abuse, and unique companionship. The result is an enlightening perspective on American history through the eyes of humanity’s best friend
 

About Mark Derr

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Mark Derr moved to Florida with his family at age six; his interest in the state's history and ecology dates back to the late 1960s, when he watched the landscape around Winter Park change with the construction of Walt Disney World. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books, The Frontiersman and Dog's Best Friend, and his articles have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Natural History, Audubon, and other publications. He lives in Miami Beach.
 
Published December 17, 2013 by Overlook. 416 pages
Genres: History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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thus, Devon became “Orson.” Realizing that the dog would never adapt to suburban New Jersey, Katz pulled up stakes and relocated to a farm in upstate New York.

Jul 15 2006 | Read Full Review of A Dog's History of America: H...

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Philanthropic self-made billionaire John Sperling initiated the “Missyplicity Project” at Texas A&M University, where his $20 million effort to clone a dog produced a hyperactive duplicate that his lover Joan ultimately rejected.

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After three years in residence at Bedlam Farm, the author finally has his bona fides as a farmer: “a sunburned complexion, the hunched crab-walk...frostbitten fingers.” He already has a crew of hardworking dogs—border collie Rose, lovable Lab Clementine and injured Lab Pearl—when a new one enters...

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Derr (A Dog’s History of America, 2004, etc.) explores various scenarios on the road to the long, fruitful relationship between dogs and humans.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Dog's History of America: H...

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Derr suggests that ``the single greatest problem with dogs is people,'' and he goes on to chronicle the misdeeds, from plain old abuse and neglect to the use of dogs to terrorize populations to the nasty little sport of dogfighting.

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The Spanish trained dogs to kill the enemy in battle, slave-owners used them to hunt runaway slaves, and in pre-industrial times dogs were beasts of burden who pulled heavy carts and worked tread mills.

Sep 01 2004 | Read Full Review of A Dog's History of America: H...

Publishers Weekly

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Rejecting the argument once prevalent among biologists, that dogs evolved from wolves that hung around prehistoric villages to scavenge, Derr delineates instead a past in which wolves and humans teamed up to bring down more game and to reap other advantages from each other's company, in a process...

Jun 27 2011 | Read Full Review of A Dog's History of America: H...

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In 1990, Derr wrote a controversial article for the Atlantic Monthly that focused on the overbreeding of dogs for the show ring and for profit under the auspices of the American Kennel Club.

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Publishers Weekly

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Derr (Dog's Best Friend) takes a dog's-eye view of American history, beginning with speculations on the dog's first appearance in the Americas tens of thousands of years ago.

Sep 01 2004 | Read Full Review of A Dog's History of America: H...

Los Angeles Times

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That shaggy canine shared the room with me some nights when I was reading Mark Derr's "How the Dog Became the Dog," an intriguing but very dense analysis of her distant ancestry.

Dec 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Dog's History of America: H...

We Love This Book

Naturalist and dog expert Mark Derr is the author of several books about dogs, including A Dog's History of America, which travels through time and across continents in his attempt to unravel the mystery of the origins of man’s best friend .

Jun 21 2012 | Read Full Review of A Dog's History of America: H...

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