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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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