Heavy Reserve Alert — ‘Animals Make Us Human’

In today’s New York Times, Dwight Garner reviews  Animals Make Us Human which follows up the authors’ earlier book, Animals in Translation, a book that

…occupies a special place among the animal books of the last few decades. Ms. Grandin’s autism gives her a special understanding of what animals, whether house cats or cattle, think, feel and — perhaps most important — desire. There is a revelation on almost every page…

Although Garner feels that the new book rehashes material from the earlier one, “If you liked the first one, you’re going to like the second.”

Garner goes on to describe some of the author’s provocative ideas and sums it up with, “We’re lucky to have Temple Grandin.”

Library ordering is light, perhaps because of Library Journal‘s much less enthusiastic response to the book,

…unfortunately, there is a definite sense of uncompromising bias in favor of the authors’ ideas, mitigating any sort of objective study or research that differs from their own conclusions. Those who work with animals will balk at some of the discussions as it’s possible to find examples in which what the authors write isn’t necessarily the case.

On the other hand, Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review.

The book debuted on the 1/25 NYT Nonfiction list at #13. 


 Animals Make us Human
Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson

  • Hardcover: $26; 352 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt;  (January 6, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0151014892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151014897

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