One Nation Under Dog: Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food

Michael Schaffer, Author . Holt $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8711-6

A Fast Food Nation for dog lovers, this astute and amusing investigative report offers a “journey into the $41-billion-a-year world of the modern American pet.” Each chapter focuses on “a different realm of the pet universe,” and the total effect is reminiscent of Tom Wolfe's New Journalism essays on the sociology of pop culture. Schaffer explores baby boomers who devote themselves to “fur babies” after their children have grown up and moved out. He attends the 2008 Global Pet Expo to take stock of the 2,400 display booths of retail pet items. He observes New York's “burgeoning canine social scene.” In San Francisco, he looks at how arguments over dog leash laws are case studies in how cities need to “navigate the controversies” of a new pet-friendly world. And his fascinating piece on the evolution of pet toys—from the first “purportedly educational” ones made in a Colorado garage in the 1970s to today's “veritable arms race”—is essential reading for anyone whose dog has become hooked on Kong bounce balls. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 12/01/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8050-9146-5
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-6272-8
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