The Wolf in the Parlor
The Eternal Connection between Humans and Dogs
By Jon Franklin
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805090772, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
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A man and puppy exhumed from a 12,000-year-old grave sends a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer on a journey to the dogs
Of all the things hidden in plain sight, dogs are one of the most enigmatic. They are everywhere but how much do we really know about where they came from and what the implications are of their place in our world? Jon Franklin set out to find out and ended up spending a decade studying the origins and significance of the dog and its peculiar attachment to humans. As the intellectual pursuit of his subject began to take over Franklin's life, he married a dog lover and was quickly introduced to the ancient and powerful law of nature, to wit: Love me, love my dog. Soon Franklin was sharing hearth and home with a soulful and clever poodle named Charlie.
And so began one man's journey to the dogs, an odyssey that would take him from a 12,000-year-old grave to a conclusion so remarkable as to change our perception of ourselves. Building on evolutionary science, archaeology, behavioral science, and the firsthand experience of watching his own dog evolve from puppy to family member, Franklin posits that man and dog are more than just inseparable; they are part and parcel of the same creature. Along the way, The Wolf in the Parlor imparts a substantial yet painless education on subjects as far ranging as psychological evolution and neurochemistry. In this groundbreaking book, master storyteller Franklin shatters the lens through which we see the world and shows us an unexpected, enthralling picture of the human/canine relationship.
Jon Franklin is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, among numerous other awards. He was a science writer for The Baltimore Evening Sun and is now a journalism professor at the University of Maryland. He is also the author of The Molecules of the Mind, a New York Times Book of the Year, and Writing for Story.
"As concepts of the canine go, Franklin’s is notably audacious. And among a plethora of books on bredding, disciplining, loving, and lamenting the loss of man’s best friend, this thoughtful discourse is a best of breed."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The result of [the author’s] obsession with discovering the root of the human-dog relationship in this impossible-to-put-down book, a peregrination through the personal, the historical, the ethological, anthropological, and ecological as Franklin discovers how dogs and humans changed each other in the thousands of years they’ve been together. A true gem."—Booklist (starred review)
"Smart and soulful and absolutely engaging, The Wolf in the Parlor is a sort of essay/inquiry that elegantly decodes the marvelous, mysterious connection between people and dogs."—Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
"The Wolf in the Parlor is the ultimate book about dogs. It is part science, part ?history, part personal journey -- and all magically written. If you have ever wondered why a dog is important in your life, this brilliant book is for you."—Gene Roberts, Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of The Race Beat
"A welcome--and surprising--view into the canine soul from somebody who clearly understands and loves dogs."—Jeffrey Masson, author of Dogs Never Lie About Love.
"Should delight dog-lovers and science buffs alike"—Kirkus Reviews
"Read this book and it will change the way you see dogs, and people.Jon Franklin, the dean of science writers, is doing more than reporting here, he is making an argument, a surprising and learned one, about the evolution of modern society. It is a story of deep co-dependence, a theory informed by science, by love, and by a ripening personal appreciation of mutual need. And, oh yes, it may make you want to get a standard poodle" —Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down