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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Wild Boar

Ancestors of domestic pigs, wild boars are tough, resourceful omnivores that have presented humans since prehistoric times with a tricky situation: they make for a delicious food source, but they are formidable animals with long tusks that can inflict serious harm. Wild Boar traces the interaction of humans and boars in fascinating detail, showing how our relationship has evolved over time and how it can be seen today as fundamentally representative of the questions at the heart of ecological preservation and restoration.
Dorothy Yamamoto takes us from the dense streets of Tokyo to the Forest of Dean in England to show how wild boars have survived in a variety of settings. She also explores the ways that they have figured in our imaginations, whether as the iconic Calydonian Boar from Ancient Greece, the White Boar of Richard III, or any of the other forms it has taken in mythology and lore. As she shows, the boar has been an especially prominent figure in hunting culture, and as such it has often been construed as a larger-than-life monster that only the most heroic of us can take down, a misperception that has threatened the boar’s survival in many parts of the world. With an illuminating combination of natural with cultural history, this book paints a vibrant portrait of a unique and often misunderstood animal. 

224 pages | 60 color plates, 40 halftones | 5 1/4 x 7 1/2 | © 2017


Biological Sciences: Natural History

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"Wild boar are despised for what is seen as their incredible destructive powers when they range over lands claimed by humans. Yamamoto’s summary could apply to other animals too . . . : ‘Wild boar have been described as many things, but they are always characterized in the light of human concerns and priorities.’ If we have a human nature, it seems to involve subjugation of other animals’ lives to our own."

Barbara J. King | Times Literary Supplement

"Wild boar, as Yamamoto observes in her new book on the beasts, are shy and nocturnal creatures—and though omnivores, are not very likely to leap your backyard fence and attack your pets. . . . Yamamoto does not underplay the damage that razorbacks can do. . . . But she looks skeptically at the divisive wild-boar wars that wrack Britain at the moment (hunters, farmers, and animal advocates warring over the mostly-reclusive pigs). And she comments wryly on the American tendency to make the boar into ‘Hogzilla,’ a crypto-pig that has become the Sasquatch of the South. . . . Wild Boar is lovingly illustrated."

Tim Morris | lection

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