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Klaus Reinhardt
Bedbug by Klaus Reinhardt at Abbey's Bookshop,


Klaus Reinhardt


Reaktion Books

Animals & society;
Mathematics & Sciences;
Wildlife: butterflies, other insects & spiders


224 pages

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Few animals elicit such a profoundly honest response of horror, fear and fright as the bedbug. Uninvited, bedbugs invade your privacy; they enter your bed, leave their marks and take away your bodily fluid - blood. From fossils to ancient Greek theatre, modern horror fiction and the bitter battles of recent scientific research, Bedbug investigates the animal's natural history and examines how ordinary people, travellers, artists and scientists have experienced and confronted bedbugs over the centuries.

Klaus Reinhardt explores how the fear of bedbugs has been institutionalized, leading not only to the development of pest control and research laboratories but to bedbugs becoming the Other, used to represent personal enemies, denigrate social classes and characterize capitalist villains. With a mix of amusing, repulsive and illuminating illustrations, Bedbug informs, entertains and even pledges for tolerance for a surprising and profoundly misunderstood insect.

By:   Klaus Reinhardt
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 190mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781780239736
ISBN 10:   1780239734
Series:   Animal
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   August 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Klaus Reinhardt is Professor of Applied Zoology at Technische Universitat Dresden in Germany, and Fellow and former Vice President of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He has worked on the biology of bedbugs for fifteen years and is also author and editor of Literarische Wanzen (Literary Bugs).

This compact book not only provides a good scientific run down of this pest, but offers it in an amusing, and often lighthearted, manner. . . . The book traces bed bugs from fossils to ancient Greek theater, modern horror fiction, and the bitter battles of recent scientific research. It investigates the animal's natural history and examines how ordinary people, travelers, artists, and scientists have experienced and confronted bedbugs over the centuries. --Pest Magazine A pure reading pleasure. --Insect-Nytt (Norway) Bedbugs have a familiar reputation as insidious bloodsucking pests that must be prevented from infesting humans' personal spaces. Yet few people, relatively speaking, have personal experience with them. Reinhardt covers bedbug evolution and biology by weaving the narrative into vignettes of public interest. Science combines with history, psychology, economics, culture, and society to inform, entertain, and advise readers, especially because bedbug incidence is expected to increase. Abundant illustrations include historical evidence of bedbug/human events in history and a wide range of social subjects, from marketing control measures to the unfair stigma connecting bedbugs to lower socioeconomic classes. Bedbugs in science, art, music, and literature provide a historical context from several perspectives. The bedbug is nearly universally perceived as a creepy, crawly, despicable critter originating somewhere else that humans can never reconcile with. The reality, as the author reveals, is less dramatic: the bedbug is a chronic but tolerable parasite endured by millions of people for millennia. Recommended. --Choice Bedbug is another excellent addition to Reaktion's highly acclaimed animal series. In this volume Reinhardt illuminates the biology of an old enemy and explores our attitudes to it across western history and culture. . . . The book is richly illustrated with photographs, cartoons, posters, and book covers, all of which add a cross-cultural perspective to the informative text. Reinhardt has produced a thought-provoking book that explores a twenty-first century entomological taboo, dispelling many of the myths that surround this insect and revealing a fascinating if not entirely welcome invertebrate. Perhaps we should, as Reinhardt hints, learn to be more tolerant of our bedbugs. --Antenna

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