The Great Cat And Dog Massacre: The Real Story Of World War Two's Unknown Tragedy

Hardcover | March 14, 2017

byHilda Kean

not yet rated|write a review
The tragedies of World War II are well known. But at least one has been forgotten: in September 1939, four hundred thousand cats and dogs were massacred in Britain. The government, vets, and animal charities all advised against this killing. So why would thousands of British citizens line up to voluntarily euthanize household pets?

In The Great Cat and Dog Massacre, Hilda Kean unearths the history, piecing together the compelling story of the life—and death—of Britain’s wartime animal companions. She explains that fear of imminent Nazi bombing and the desire to do something to prepare for war led Britons to sew blackout curtains, dig up flower beds for vegetable patches, send their children away to the countryside—and kill the family pet, in theory sparing them the suffering of a bombing raid. Kean’s narrative is gripping, unfolding through stories of shared experiences of bombing, food restrictions, sheltering, and mutual support. Soon pets became key to the war effort, providing emotional assistance and helping people to survive—a contribution for which the animals gained government recognition.

Drawing extensively on new research from animal charities, state archives, diaries, and family stories, Kean does more than tell a virtually forgotten story. She complicates our understanding of World War II as a “good war” fought by a nation of “good” people. Accessibly written and generously illustrated, Kean’s account of this forgotten aspect of British history moves animals to center stage—forcing us to rethink our assumptions about ourselves and the animals with whom we share our homes.
 

Pricing and Purchase Info

$45.50

In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

The tragedies of World War II are well known. But at least one has been forgotten: in September 1939, four hundred thousand cats and dogs were massacred in Britain. The government, vets, and animal charities all advised against this killing. So why would thousands of British citizens line up to voluntarily euthanize household pets? In ...

Hilda Kean is visiting professor at the University of Greenwich and an honorary senior research associate at University College London. Her many books include Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800 and London Stories: Personal Lives, Public Histories.

other books by Hilda Kean

Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800
Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain s...

Kobo ebook|Aug 1 1998

$30.29 online$39.30list price(save 22%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:March 14, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022631832X

ISBN - 13:9780226318325

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Great Cat And Dog Massacre: The Real Story Of World War Two's Unknown Tragedy

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“For those who think everything has been said about Britain’s war, here is a book that will change our perspective on the popular image of the British people calmly coping with the challenges of the home front. Kean not only brings animals into the wartime narrative in their own right, but challenges the way historians have treated the wartime experience. This is a remarkably rich and detailed history, not only reconstructing the unknown story of the animal massacre, but in the process offering a profound view of the way animals and humans interact.”