Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books


Masked bandits of the night, raiders of farm crops and rubbish bins, raccoons are notorious for their indifference to human property and propriety. Yet they are also admired for their intelligence, dexterity, and determination. Raccoons have thoroughly adapted to human-dominated environments—they are thriving in numbers greater than at any point of their evolutionary history, including in new habitats. Raccoon surveys the natural and cultural history of this opportunistic omnivore, tracing its biological evolution, social significance, and image in a range of media and political contexts. From intergalactic misanthropes and despoilers of ancient temples to coveted hunting quarry, unpredictable pet, and symbols of wilderness and racist stereotype alike, Raccoon offers a lively consideration of this misunderstood outlaw species.

224 pages | 80 color plates, 20 halftones | 5 1/4 x 7 1/2 | © 2021


Biological Sciences: Natural History

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books


"Justice’s Raccoon is a fascinating and thoughtfully written exploration of its subject in science and culture—and a must-read for anyone like me who is curious about what, for example, Raccoon Mother (our best yard raccoon) is thinking on any given day."

Jeff VanderMeer | New York Times Book Review, "By the Book"

"[A] deep dive into the biological, taxonomical, historical, and cultural significance of Procyon lotor. . . . This is more than just a thorough primer on the nocturnal mammal whose roots can be traced back in the fossil record some thirty million years; it is a nuanced interrogation of the many behaviours, habitats, and characteristics the little guy shares with us."

Michael Strizic | Literary Review of Canada

"A wonderful, brilliantly written book about one of my favorite animals. Just such a joy to read—and I learned so much. You’ll never see raccoons the same again. A book I’ll cherish in years to come."

Jeff VanderMeer, author of the New York Times–bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy

"Beautifully written and superbly illustrated, this engaging book traces the history of the ubiquitous masked bandits as a species, as a symbol, and as a reflection of our society."

Suzanne MacDonald, Professor of Psychology, York University, Toronto

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press