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Reviews

"In this engaging and carefully researched book... Derry admirably exposes the foibles and eccentricities of pedigree breeders and discusses the many factors motivating their activities... It is a detailed study of obsession, of the conflict between pedigree and commercial concerns and the unspoken belief among breeders that line breeding animals and line breeding people amounted to much the same thing!"

"Derry's study of animal breeding since 1800 makes a valuable contribution to the series and to the growing field of animal history."

"Derry details the intricacies of pedigree recording, which greatly influences breeding decisions, monetary values, and trade. Much of this book reviews the social factors that have impacted pedigreed breeding."

"An excellent book. In showing how animal improvement served both economic and social purposes, Derry tells much about the nature of human beings."

"Offers a succession of fascinating insights that will intrigue even historians with little previous interest in agriculture or sports... Essential reading for anyone interested in the human modification of nature."

"This book... fills a substantial gap in scholarship."

"In this book, Margaret Derry—pedigree cattle breeder, livestock artist, and historian—explores the improvement of Shorthorn cattle, Collie dogs, and Arabian horses in Britain and North America since the eighteenth century. Though the three breeds are no more alike than chalk and cheese, the same threads run through their histories. Derry ranges widely and with assurance across this many-faceted subject, shedding light on matters hitherto opaque or obscure. Her book is an engaging exploration of the not-always-creative tensions between science, aesthetics, and the profit motive in the history of animal breeding over the last two centuries."