What It Means to Be Human: Historical Reflections from the 1800s to the Present

What It Means to Be Human: Historical Reflections from the 1800s to the Present

Paperback

By (author) Joanna Bourke

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  • Publisher: COUNTERPOINT
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 216mm x 34mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 23 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Berkeley
  • ISBN 10: 1619021676
  • ISBN 13: 9781619021679
  • Sales rank: 877,796

Product description

"Avoiding the impenetrable prose often found in academic books, this deeply scholarly work is lively and challenging in equal measure, and rewarding throughout." --"Boston Globe" In this fascinating account, Joanna Bourke addresses the profound question of what it means to be "human" rather than "animal." How are people excluded from political personhood? How does one become entitled to rights? The distinction between the two concepts is a blurred line, permanently under construction. If the Earnest Englishwoman had been capable of looking 100 years into the future, she might have wondered about the human status of chimeras, or the ethics of stem cell research. Political disclosures and scientific advances have been relocating the human-animal border at an alarming speed. In this meticulously researched, illuminating book, Bourke explores the legacy of more than two centuries, and looks forward into what the future might hold for humans, women, and animals.

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Author information

Joanna Bourke is a Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London and an active contributor to radio, journalism, and television. She is author of several books, including "Rape: Sex, Violence, History and Fear: A Cultural History," which was shortlisted for Mind Book of the Year in 2006. She lives in London.