Quick Reads: “What’s a Dog For?” by John Homans

What’s a Dog For?

By John Homans

PENGUIN PRESS

The spayed and shampooed apartment-dwelling puppy has come a long way from its wolf ancestors. John Homans, a dog lover and executive editor of New York magazine, retraces that journey from Darwin’s study of canine emotions to puppy mills to a canine-science conclave in Vienna. The book covers doggie consciousness and evolution, but Homans hits his stride on topics like the red-state (pro)/blue-state (con) divide over euthanasia and the aristocratic origins of canine pedigree. Sprinkled throughout are charming anecdotes that will delight dog lovers and even likely appeal to die-hard cat people.

This review originally appeared in our November/December issue of Mother Jones.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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