I have read alot of books about donkeys in my time and, children’s story books and training manuals aside, there have been very few publications that have combined both in depth, well-researched material and a sensitive, respectful approach to donkeys and their cultural place in the world. Well, I – or you- need look no further now that DONKEY, by Jill Bough, has been published (www.reaktionbooks.co.uk).
As we all know, historically donkeys have been among the most useful workers in the service of human needs, while at the same time they have been much maligned in popular cultures and given very little respect. In DONKEY, however, Jill Bough champions these humble creatures, proving that after 10,000 years of domestication, this incredibly hard-working animal deserves our praise and appreciation.
This concise, well-illustrated analysis of the donkey attends to its contributions throughout history down to present day. But the best parts of the work, for me, are those sections where the author looks at the wide variety of social, cultural and religious meanings that donkeys have embodied, especially in literature and art. With accounts that are both fascinating and touching, this cultural history inspires respect and admiration for the donkey, qualities of description that are long overdue. DONKEY is highly recommended.
Sandra Pady, Executive Director