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Equus Rising: How the Horse Shaped U.S. History

it was amazing 5.00  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Weapon. Legend. Energy source. Shaper of cultures. Center of controversy. Throughout U.S. history, the horse has served as one of the most powerful influences on the country’s development. Beginning fifty-five million years ago with the evolution of the horse across the Great Plains, this story charts its extinction in North America, followed by its reintroduction to the c ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published May 14th 2020
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May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First, let me say that I am I am NOT a horse person. I had a bad experience in third grade and not only haven't been on one since, but also have little interest in horses in general. Or had. This book is well researched, well written, and engrossing even for those of us who are not horse freaks. It offers such a unique take on the incredible influence that horses have had in US history--as well as highlighting the role of women and indigenous communities played that are often ignored in your typ ...more
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
History buffs and horse lovers alike will appreciate the way the author artfully highlights historical events we’ve all learned about in school—but through the lens of the role horses have played in shaping history.

While the history is compelling, as interesting is the author’s ability to move between factual recounting and insightful commentary on the political forces at play in a way I had never considered. For example, for years, I’ve loved visiting the horses living on the Outer Banks of No
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this ambitious book about the powerful influence of horse on US history, Soplop delivers a gripping account of North American history, charting horse’s progression across the Great Plains.

Registering the evolution of the horse, which started fifty-five million years ago, Soplop maps its extinction in North America, its reintroduction to the continent by the Spanish, the explosions of wild horses across the West, the emergence of the Comanche, the fearless indigenous warriors of North America
Megan Swan
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Equus Rising examines US history in a unique way: as it was influenced by the horse. It is meticulously researched and skillfully written and the conversational tone really captured my attention. I quickly found myself deep into this mind-opening and fascinating work. The accessible style is engaging and carries the reader along the journey from prehistoric to modern times, all the while providing detailed and insightful historical information and deeply insightful perspective. In particular, I ...more
Bridget Bean
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whether your interests run with horses, history, or the people whose lives and livelihoods (including our own) were shaped by horses, there is something tantalizing for you in EQUUS RISING: How The Horse Shaped U.S. History. In using an angle from which we have never before seen U.S. history told - the story of the horse, its evolution, and its working, warring, and loving relationships with people - Soplop has given us a fresh and lively perspective on the development of the United States. In a ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It opened my eyes to a completely different perspective on U.S. history: the tremendous influence of the horse on the development of our country and its cultures. There was hardly a page of the book where I did not think to myself, "I never knew that!" The author has woven her considerable research into an appealing and approachable writing style and has supplemented it with beautiful photos and original illustrations, making it an engaging read for anyone of about high-school ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ll admit I’m not a “horse person,” but I picked up Equus Rising for a fresh perspective, and it really delivered. The book is written for anyone interested in a unique take on U.S. history, not just for horse lovers and historians. It’s approachable and packed with interesting facts I’ve never read before. I came away from the book with so much respect for horses and how they’ve contributed to our country's development, too. Definitely a worthwhile read. And the illustrations add so much to th ...more
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is such a wonderful way to understand and connect to the history of our country. As a student of history, I find it takes particular detail and accessible prose to not only bring our past to life, but to embed it in working memory. Equus Rising does just that, using the horse to (re)connect the reader with our own past. Complimenting this wonderful read are gorgeous illustrations, bringing the thoughtful writing even further to life. I can't wait to continue recommending this book! ...more
Jason Stevens
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Equus Rising is an exciting journey into the role of the horse in U.S. history. There are so many interesting parts of this story that most people just don't know about, such as how the horse evolved in North America, was killed off, and then reintroduced, or how horses were used so extensively by different native peoples in ways that drastically shaped the nation's history. A great choice for anyone who interested in horses or a fresh perspective on history. ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated. Learning more about horses and their place in history was fascinating and insightful. The author’s passion for horses, history and photography is evident in this thoughtful book. Highly recommend for both horse and history lovers!
Lynn B
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally well researched and interesting account of the horse and its integration into U.S. history. As a former educator I believe this would be a valuable resource for an AP U.S. history course and would be well received by the students and would result in many interesting discussions.
Carly Kade
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horse-reads
This was a fascinating and fun read. Horses have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, yet I learned so many new things about them while reading this book. They really shaped U.S. history. This is an important book. It's not just for horse and history buffs. Highly recommend! ...more
Erin Connors
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book for its expansive variety and accessible style. The range of topics makes this book both compelling and eminently readable for a wide range of interests and reading levels.
Lacey Williams
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Julia Soplop is an engaging, colorful, and incredibly informative writer. As someone who typically struggles through historical writing, I found Equus Rising to read as seamlessly and colorfully as a novel. Not only did she give me chills while reading about how dramatically horses shifted the ecological, historical, and cultural history of North America, but she also took the time to define her terms and remind the readers of the significance of each transition throughout history. As someone wh ...more
Dana Cassell
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a delight to read Equus Rising and discover how much of our country's history I never truly understood! I'm not a "horse person" and don't typically read a ton of history, but this book was completely gripping and very easy to read. Julia has done a masterful job of crafting the book to move along quickly, and keeping chapter content focused enough that the reader can truly understand the point she's making. Equus Rising is both thorough and thoughtful, AND lightweight and easy to read. I l ...more
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Julia Soplop
Apr 17, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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Minnesota native Julia Soplop is a lifelong writer and photographer. She is the author of "Equus Rising: How the Horse Shaped U.S. History" and "Documenting Your World Through Photography." A fascination with documenting animal behavior has led her around the globe, from conducting field research on lemurs in Madagascar, to swimming with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands, to studying sea turtles ...more

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