The City Is More Than Human
An Animal History of Seattle
Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books
Published by: University of Washington Press
352 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 44 b&w illus., 5 maps, 6 tables
- ISBN: 9780295745718
- Published: February 2019
Winner of the 2017 Virginia Marie Folkins Award, Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO)
Winner of the 2017 Hal K. Rothman Book Prize, Western History Association
Seattle would not exist without animals. Animals have played a vital role in shaping the city from its founding amid existing indigenous towns in the mid-nineteenth century to the livestock-friendly town of the late nineteenth century to the pet-friendly, livestock-averse modern city.
When newcomers first arrived in the 1850s, they hastened to assemble the familiar cohort of cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, and other animals that defined European agriculture. This, in turn, contributed to the dispossession of the Native residents of the area. However, just as various animals were used to create a Euro-American city, the elimination of these same animals from Seattle was key to the creation of the new middle-class neighborhoods of the twentieth century. As dogs and cats came to symbolize home and family, Seattleites’ relationship with livestock became distant and exploitative, demonstrating the deep social contradictions that characterize the modern American metropolis.
Throughout Seattle’s history, people have sorted animals into categories and into places as a way of asserting power over animals, other people, and property. In The City Is More Than Human, Frederick Brown explores the dynamic, troubled relationship humans have with animals. In so doing he challenges us to acknowledge the role of animals of all sorts in the making and remaking of cities.
Foreword | The Animal Turn in Urban History / Paul S. Sutter
1. Beavers, Cougars, and Cattle | Constructing the Town and the Wilderness
2. Cows | Closing the Grazing Commons
3. Horses | The Rise and Decline of Urban Equine Workers
4. Dogs and Cats | Loving Pets in Urban Homes
5. Cattle, Pigs, Chickens, and Salmon | Eating Animals on Urban Plates
List of Abbreviations
Meticulous and thoughtful . . . Through impressive mining of primary sources, Frederick L. Brown weaves together urban history, environmental history, and geography through the forgotten stories of human-animal relations. . . . Teachers of environmental history should consider this titlefor undergraduate classrooms.~Environmental History
For the Seattle history buff it’s a must read; for the urbanist it broadens the sense of what the city is, who it’s for, and how critters are partners in shaping urban life.~Knute Berger, Crosscut
Virtually any Northwest community would recognize itself in much of this book. . . . The City Is More Than Human is a tough but valuable read, challenging us to consider our actions and attitudes toward other species.~Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Kitsap Sun
Brown’s book is a welcome addition to the thriving study of animals in urban and American history.~Pacific Historical Review
- Virginia Marie Folkins Awards