American Sheep
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American Sheep

A Cultural History

Title Details

Pages: 240

Illustrations: 33 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Hardcover

Pub Date: 10/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6716-3

List Price: $29.95

eBook

Pub Date: 10/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6718-7

List Price: $29.95

eBook

Pub Date: 10/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6717-0

List Price: $29.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Bradley Hale Fund for Southern Studies

American Sheep

A Cultural History

The history of sheep is intertwined with the growth and development of the United States

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Why did Thomas Jefferson write that he would be happy if all dogs went extinct? What economic opportunity did attorney John Lord Hayes envision for the newly emancipated during Reconstruction? What American workers were mocked by Theodore Roosevelt as “morose, melancholy men”? What problems with revenue collection did Congressman James Beauchamp Clark mention when proposing an income tax? Why did Harley O. Gable of Armour & Company recommend that his meat-packing business manufacture violin strings? Why was Senator Lyndon Johnson angry at the Army and Navy Munitions Board at the start of the Korean War?

The answers to all these questions involve sheep. From the colonial era through the mid-twentieth century, America’s flocks played a key role in the nation’s development. Furthermore, much consternation centered around the sheep the United States lacked, so that dependency on foreign wool—a headache in times of peace—became a full-blown crisis in wartime. But more than just providers of wool, sheep were valued for their meat, for their byproducts after slaughter, and even for their efficiency at lawn maintenance.

Here is the story of the complex and fascinating relationship between Americans and their sheep. Brett Bannor explains how sheep cultivation has significantly impacted the broader growth and development of the United States. The history of America’s sheep encompasses topics that touch on many cornerstones of the American experience, such as enslavement, warfare, western expansion, industrialization, taxation, feminism, conservation, and labor relations, among others.

American Sheep is strikingly original and a provides a lively account of a topic that fills a gap in American history and animal studies.

—Frederick R. Davis, author of The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles: Archie Carr and the Origins of Conservation Biology

Sheep spanned the entirety of U.S. history, and their contribution to fashion and clothing makes them unique in the history of domestic animals. Framed as a rediscovery of a forgotten partner in American agricultural history, American Sheep will appeal to anyone curious about domestic animals and farming.

—Jon T. Coleman, author of Here Lies Hugh Glass: A Mountain Man, a Bear, and the Rise of the American Nation

About the Author/Editor

BRETT BANNOR is the manager of Animal Collections at the Atlanta History Center, where he takes care of the institution's domestic animals—including sheep, of course. He has written several articles on both natural and cultural history.