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Rat (Animal) Paperback – 20 Aug 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (20 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861892241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861892249
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 822,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Arresting to read . . . Completely fascinating." -- James Fleming "The Spectator" (04/15/2006)

"Engaging. . . . An excellent example of how cultural history can entertainingly cross borders."--BBC History Magazine

"Burt's absorbing and highly readable story gnows into the labyrinthine, deep-rotted psychological terror that these tenacious creatures engender."--The Glasgow Herald

"Burt''s absorbing and highly readable story gnows into the labyrinthine, deep-rotted psychological terror that these tenacious creatures engender."--The Glasgow Herald

"His account of the natural history of the black rat and the brown rat is thorough. . . . The range of geographical and historical detail provided . . . is impressive and necessary. . . "Rat" is a good account of the many different manifestations of this animal, and a good place to start for those new to critical animal studies."--Kevin de Ornellas"Times Literary Supplement" (10/27/2006)

"Arresting to read . . . Completely fascinating."--James Fleming"The Spectator" (04/15/2006)

"Superbly illustrated, this is the perfect book for the rat fancier in your life."--P.D. Smith"The Guardian" (05/27/2006)

"Arresting to read. . . Completely fascinating."--James Fleming"The Spectator" (04/15/2006)"

About the Author

Jonathan Burt is a freelance writer who lives in Cambridge, UK. He is the author of Animals in Film (Reaktion, 2002) and general editor of the animal series.


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I am writing this as a reply to Denise and Trevor's review of the Kindle edition of my book. There is nothing in the book that suggests that I hate rats. In fact, quite the opposite. What the book does do is trace the cultural and historical reasons as to why rats are seen as vermin, and the particular forms the hatred of rats has taken, which is a completely different thing. I also look at cultures and periods of history where rats are not hated, where they are seen as bringers of good luck, and even worshipped. I don't know if they are in the Kindle edition but there are some rather lovely colour pictures of the sacred rats at the Temple of Karni Mata, near Bikaner in India. On the subject of plague, you cannot escape the fact that rats were part of the vectors of the spread of bubonic plague from the 1890s onwards. But my book was one of the few to take seriously Samuel Cohn's thesis that the Black Death was not spread by rats. Finally, my chapter on the use of rats in science is an entirely sympathetic one. This book is part of series that I founded and edit, and now runs to over 60 titles, and are books for animal lovers and interested scholars alike. I could have written any title in the series but chose rats because they fascinated me. I would not have spent 18 months of my life on an animal I didn't like! Jonathan Burt
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