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Why do people go to zoos? Is the role of zoos to entertain or to educate? In this provocative book, the authors demonstrate that zoos tell us as much about humans as they do about animals and suggest that while animals may not need zoos, urban societies seem to.
A new introduction takes note of dramatic changes in the perceived role of zoos that have occurred since the book...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by University of Illinois Press
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This turned out not to be what I'd expected. I'd hoped for an exploration of people who visit zoos and their perceptions. Instead, we have a poorly executed overview of the history of zoos. The authors can't seem to decide what they're trying to say. For example, they state numerous times from the start that drawing parallels between zoos and prisons is a false comparison which arises out of human culture -- and then proceed to spend an entire chapter on the history of prisons and mental institu ...more
Some interesting ideas, but by the end degenerates into the most anthropocentric, ethnocentric pipe-smoking, tweed-vested academic nonsense that I deplore about the world of Intelligensia. Didactic in its views, completely self-contridictory, and wholly antagonist to its own subject and the purveyors thereof, it raises thought-provoking questions only if if you let it, and insults you the rest of the time.