PETS IN AMERICA is a social history of the place of pets in American life. With charming photographs, wonderful detail, and accessible writing, this is a book that will do very well packaged as an attractive, commercialized paperback. The topic holds appeal for a wide audience and there is much material in the book for marketing and selling in a creative way. This is solid history of a popular topic that has wide appealand should have a substantial backlist life.
Grier has a nice habit of tweaking a detail to make a larger point. Discussing the popularity of caged birds throughout the 19th century their "apparent monogamy and devoted parenting" was inspirational she reminds us that their singing was treasured in a way we may have difficulty appreciating: "We live in a world where recorded music, radios and television sets bathe us in constant chatter and music. The silence of rooms in the past is now largely unknown."