Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants

Book - 2005
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Thoreau went to Walden Pond to live simply in the wild and contemplate his own place in the world by observing nature. Robert Sullivan went to a disused, garbage-filled alley in lower Manhattan to contemplate the city and its lesser-known inhabitants -- by observing the rat. Rats live in the world precisely where humans do; they survive on the effluvia of human society; they eat our garbage. While dispensing gruesomely fascinating rat facts and strangely entertaining rat stories -- everyone has one, it turns out -- Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. With a notebook and night-vision gear, he sits in the streamlike flow of garbage and searches for fabled rat kings, sets out to trap a rat, and eventually travels to the Midwest to learn about rats in Chicago, Milwaukee, and other cities of America. With tales of rat fights in the Gangs of New York era and stories of Harlem rent strike leaders who used rats to win basic rights for tenants, Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses -- its herd-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting yet always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.
Publisher: New York, NY : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2005, c2004
Edition: Pbk. ed
ISBN: 9781582344775
Branch Call Number: 599.3521 SULLIVA
Characteristics: 250 p. ; 21 cm


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IMolina3 Mar 24, 2014

perhaps, i could give it a try, just to see if they do say somethin abou more poison to kills those mother fuckers rats..

ilowelife Dec 18, 2013

I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up to learn more about the rodents, but I had no idea that it was really a history book written with rats as the central plot device. A very interesting read that will teach you a great deal more about New York City and America than you'd think based on its title.

mikelindq Nov 13, 2013

A fun read - written in the same engaging, wry, slightly ironic voice as the author's Meadowlands and Cross Country. Thoroughly researched but utterly without scholarly pretense --- more history/natural history should be written in such an entertaining style.

JCLKimG Apr 09, 2013

This is a fascinating read for those with a bit of interest in the macabre or animal lovers. It won an Alex Award, which is given to books written for adults that have a great appeal factor for teens.


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