Love, War, and Circuses by Eric Scigliano
The Age-Old Relationship Between Elephants and Humans

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Synopsis

For millennia, people all over the world have revered, adored, and exploited elephants. In Thailand, a pregnant woman ducks under an elephant's belly in hopes of having an easy delivery; a tycoon builds an elephant-shaped skyscraper; and pirate loggers feed amphetamines to their elephants to make them haul back-breaking loads. In India, milling worshippers dance with gilded tuskers at ecstatic temple festivals. From the steppes of Siberia to America's prairies, scientists have proposed restoring lost ecosystems by reintroducing the elephants and mammoths that once ruled them. And generation after generation of readers have delighted in Babar, Horton, and Dumbo.
In a kaleidoscopic account rich in historic lore, surprising science, and exotic adventure, Eric Scigliano traces an age-old, extraordinary relationship between species and shows how it still haunts and inspires us today. He explains how elephants may have been "nursemaids" to human evolution and how they have shaped history, art, religion, and popular culture as no other animals have. He joins a grueling chase after crop-raiding rogues in Sri Lanka and probes the bitter battles over the roles of elephants in zoos and circuses, revealing the enduring ecological importance and mythic fascination of these endangered giants.
 

About Eric Scigliano

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Eric Scigliano, who has written for Outside, the New York Times, and many other publications, first became fascinated with elephants as a child in Vietnam.
 
Published January 2, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Co.. 358 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Love, War, and Circuses

The Guardian

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Love, War and Circuses: The Age-old Relationship Between Elephants and Humans by Eric Scigliano 358pp, Bloomsbury, £15.99 There's a hilltop palace in Rajasthan that tourists are invited to reach by elephant: not the grimy industrial beast that hauls logs down in Kerala, but a dandified creat...

Jan 31 2004 | Read Full Review of Love, War, and Circuses: The ...

Publishers Weekly

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The long history of human-elephant interaction has been a tug-of-war between adoration and abuse, as Scigliano's richly informative work ably demonstrates.

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Star Tribune

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Of beggar elephants and their mahouts in Thailand he writes: "Imagine cowboys with no cows to herd or grass to feed their horses and you get an inkling of the plight of these hereditary elephant keepers, steeped in proud and ancient elephant magic."

Jun 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Love, War, and Circuses: The ...

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