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History of Zoos and Aquariums -from royal gifts to Biodiversity Conservation

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McGREGOR REID, G., MOORE, G. ed.: History of Zoos and Aquariums -from royal gifts to Biodiversity Conservation

Lieferzeit: 2-3 Tage

44,80 €
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Chester 2014, 170 Seiten, viele Abb, kt., Großformat. The book is edited by Gordon McGregor Reid, Director Emeritus of Chester Zoo, and Geoffrey Moore, who was the inaugural Library Scholar of the Zoological Society of London (2005) and President of the Society for the History of Natural History (2009–2012), and who has published widely on the subject of the ecology of inshore ecosystems. This book considers the histories of zoos and aquariums from antiquity to the present day. It also looks ahead to consider the possible guises of zoos of the future in a world increasingly impoverished by the actions of the human species. In order to make sense of what is a confusing and expansive subject the collection is split into four parts, covering zoos, aquariums, collaborations, and future directions. Subject matter ranges from archaeological interrogations of the menagerie at the Tower of London, to the history of zoo-based vets and the evolution of zoos as environmental education providers. The volume's broad scope and accessible prose mean that it effectively engages zoo educators, scholars of zoos and animal collections, and those working more on the research side of zoological collections and zoology more generally. This work represents an important addition to literature allowing readers to establish a broad framework through which to comprehend the histories of these kinds of captive spaces. The work does an effective job at providing this introduction to the subject. Its range of topics is compelling as is its range of methodological approaches. It is interesting and readable, which is important given its potential to engage a range of audiences. There are, however, a number of shortcomings. For those engaged in academic study of zoo histories, the collection comes across as rather teleological; it paints an institutionally accepted picture of perpetual improvement over time, ignoring continuing public concerns about the idea of captivity and the ongoing bad press received by many zoos. Similarly, it does not engage with more theoretical approaches to these kinds of places. Such approaches read captive environments as mirrors to nature and culture revealing human perceptions of themselves and the planet. That said, however, the strengths of the piece are manifold. I would recommend it to anybody wishing to gain a sense of the diversity inherent in the study of animal collections across time and space.

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