Welcome to The Age of the Horse

It’s UK publication day for The Age of the Horse: an Equine Journey through Human History.

“From Xenophon to Hitler via Chinese polo and the battle of Waterloo, this extraordinary work demonstrates how much better world history looks with a horse in the foreground.”
Meg Rosoff, novelist and winner of the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

 

“A richly informative, lively, and elegantly written overview of the horse in human culture and history that engages the reader right from the start in its exploration of the horse’s evolution and conservation, in war, industry, farming and even the theater, as luxury object and source of food, among many other topics. Susanna Forrest successfully synthesizes an enormous amount of information and presents it in an academically sound, but readily accessible form that I can best compare with the work of Barry Lopez in Of Wolves and Men. Anyone with even the slightest interest in horses and their past, present, and future as human companions, allies or victims should be sure to read it and learn from it.”

Peter Mitchell, professor of archaeology at the University of Oxford and author of Horse Nations: The Worldwide Impact of the Horse on Indigenous Societies post-1492.

 

“We are not alone. Human history has not just been visited by animals. It has been constituted by them. A few species in particular have played starring roles in this history. If the dog has been a loyal sidekick, the horse, Susanna Forrest shows, has been a somewhat more distant, more aloof collaborator in the rise to planetary domination of the human species. Like something out of science-fiction, an alien ally who joins forces with the humanoids in intergalactic battle, the horse, with its great and different body, with its unimaginable desires, is nonetheless one of us, in war, sport, work, and sometimes love. The Age of the Horse is nothing other than human history itself. No animal more deserves a rigorous and deep investigation of its place in human life, and no one is better positioned to provide it than Forrest. She approaches her subject with both love and lucidity, with a sharp awareness of the limits of what we can know about horses – what it is like to be them, how we grew so close to them – but at the same time a power of imagination that gives the reader the impression of moving beyond these limits. I have not gone near a horse for some decades, but after reading Forrest’s book I have never felt closer to them.”

Justin E H Smith, professor of history of philosophy and science, University of Paris 7, Dennis Diderot. Author of Nature, Human Nature and Human Difference: Race in Early Modern Philosophy.

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