Savages and Beasts : The Birth of the Modern Zoo
By the late nineteenth century, Hagenbeck had emerged as the world's undisputed leader in the capture and transport of exotic animals. His business included procuring and exhibiting indigenous peoples in highly profitable spectacles throughout Europe and training exotic animals-humanely, Hagenbeck advertised-for circuses around the world. When in 1907 the Hagenbeck Animal Park opened in a village near Hamburg, Germany, Hagenbeck brought together all his business interests in a revolutionary zoological park. He moved wild animals out of their cages and into "natural landscapes" alongside "primitive" peoples from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the islands of the Pacific. Hagenbeck had invented a new way of imagining captivity: the animals and people on exhibit appeared to be living in the wilds of their native lands.
By looking at Hagenbeck's multiple enterprises, Savages and Beasts demonstrates how seemingly enlightened ideas about the role of zoos and the nature of animal captivity developed within the essentially tawdry business of placing exotic creatures on public display. Rothfels provides both fascinating reading and much-needed historical perspective on the nature of our relationship with the animal kingdom.
- Paperback | 288 pages
- 156 x 235 x 19mm | 454g
- 29 Jul 2008
- JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Baltimore, MD, United States
- 1 Line drawings, black and white; 51 Halftones, black and white
Other books in this series
01 Sep 2011
Back cover copy
"This is much more than a history of Hagenbeck's many successes. It is an historical explanation for why the environments of zoos today are meant to mask the human character of the places in which animals are forced to live their unnatural lives."--American Historical Review
"A fine read, in which good use of picture archives has complemented the writer's extensive documentary research."--New Scientist
"Rothfels is attuned to the ironies pervading zoos' mediation of people and animals and understands that zoos operate according to entrepreneurial rather than environmental principles."--Chronicle of Higher Education
"Convincingly argues that the image of Hagenbeck as a modern-day Noah, a great animal lover trying to educate the public about the wonders of nature, belies the basic nature of Hagenbeck's enterprise... Rothfels raises questions about past practices of exhibiting animals (and people) and about what zoos of the present are all about."--Journal of the History of Biology
"A fascinating if disturbing tale of animal and human display."--German Studies Review
Nigel Rothfels received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and is the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the editor of the interdisciplinary collection Representing Animals.
Table of contents
List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Entering the GatesChapter 1: Gardens of HistoryChapter 2: Catching AnimalsChapter 3: "Fabulous Animals": Showing PeopleChapter 4: ParadiseConclusion: When Animals SpeakNotesA Note on SourcesIndex
About Nigel Rothfels