Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items



In stock
Ready to ship


Reaktion Books
14 May 2018
Series: Animal Series
Common and exotic, glamorous and ferocious, sociable and sullen: zebras mean many things to many people. The extraordinary beauty of their striped coats makes them one of the world's most recognisable animals. They have been immortalised in paint by artists including George Stubbs and Lucian Freud, and zebra-print designs permeate contemporary society - on beanbags and bikinis, from car seats to pencil cases. Zebras even have a road crossing named after them. But the natural and cultural history of the zebra remains a mystery to most. Few know that there are three species of zebra, or that one of these is currently endangered, or that the quagga, an animal that once roamed southern Africa in large numbers before dying out in the 1880s, is among the zebra's many subspecies.

Zebra is a comprehensive and wide-ranging study of the natural and cultural history of this popular animal. Using a wide range of sources and stories, it shows how the zebra's history engages and intersects with diverse topics, including eighteenth-century humour, imperialism, and camouflage technologies. Including more than a hundred illustrations, many previously unpublished, it offers a new way of thinking about this much-loved but frequently misunderstood animal.
By:   Christopher Plumb, Samuel Shaw
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 190mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781780239354
ISBN 10:   1780239351
Series:   Animal Series
Pages:   216
Publication Date:   14 May 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Samuel Shaw is an artist, writer and art historian. He teaches at the University of Birmingham. Christopher Plumb is a cultural historian and his first book was The Georgian Menagerie: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-century London (2015).

Reviews for Zebra

Everything you ever wanted to know about zebras can be found right here in black and white in this remarkable book. . . . Part of Reaktion Books' ambitious Animal series, which presents various animals from a natural and cultural history perspective, this exhaustively researched and brilliantly crafted volume is appropriate for college or advanced high school readers. It would be a valuable addition to a classroom library. . . . Profusely illustrated with captivating photographs. -- American Biology Teacher Zebra is neither a book of zoology nor a book on history, though it contains both. Written by a cultural historian and an art historian, it is a ultimately sociocultural history that covers the human interaction with the zebra as both an animal and an icon. The book is about the zebra, but the focus is on humans: how humans discovered the zebra, how we reacted to it, how we've interpreted it, how we've used it. The volume covers ancient art and modern fashion (zebra striped clothing is, for some reason, more commonly made for women), zebras in art, comics, and diplomacy, and zebras as representations of sociological issues. . . . The pictures are small but of good quality and bright. Recommended. -- Choice

See Also