Stowaway : The Disreputable Exploits Of The Rat – Joe Shute (Hardcover)


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A cultural and social history of the rat, examining how one creature achieved total world domination and has inspired such love and loathing.

Rats are creatures which inspire fear and fascination in equal measure. Their lives are more closely entwined with humans than any other animal, but they remain the most misunderstood of all species.

Yet, arguably no animal has sacrificed more in the pursuit of human health but also been so resolutely blamed for spreading plague and pestilence. No animal has been so determinedly targeted by humans, and still managed to survive and thrive in our midst. No animal is so often derided as being vicious and cunning, but possesses such a rich and complex inner life.

In Stowaway, Joe Shute, explores our complex and often contradictory relationship with the rat. He travels the world from sub-Saharan Africa to the Rocky Mountains and visits some of the most rodent-infested cities on earth to unpick the myths we tell ourselves about rats and investigate the unexplored secrets of their own extraordinary lives.

He examines the way in which rats have shaped human history and meets cutting-edge researchers harnessing the power of rat intelligence to achieve incredible results. He explores the hidden world they inhabit beneath our feet as well as their role in natural ecosystems. And through his own pet rats, he discovers the close emotional bonds they form with humans when given the chance.

Ultimately, this is a book which questions what the lives of rats reveal to us about our own, and whether there might be a better way to live alongside our ancient enemies in the modern age?


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