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190 × 135 mm
200 pages
100 illustrations, 49 in colour
12 Dec 2008

Moose Kevin Jackson

Its hooves were supposedly a cure for epilepsy, it is the mascot of the clothing company Abercrombie and Fitch, and its meat is a delicacy. The moose is a fascinating but elusive animal of the north, and its little-known natural history is the focus of Kevin Jackson’s engaging new book.

Moose explains the animal’s behaviour, evolution and diet, and describes its natural environments around the world, including in the USA, Canada and Scandinavia, where the moose is the national animal of Sweden and of Norway. Jackson considers why the moose is really an elk and an elk is a wapiti, and he also discusses the controversy behind the naming of the Irish Elk. The moose has been a quarry for humans since the Stone Age, and the book does not stint on the animal's role in human history, including the ‘alces’ in Julius Caesar’s history of the Gallic Wars and figures such as Thomas Jefferson, poet Ted Hughes, and Theodore Roosevelt with his Bull Moose Party. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, a 150-foot statue being built in Sweden, and colourful moose lore all appear in this wide-ranging study, making this an essential read for naturalists and moose lovers alike.

‘In this whimsical, witty and very entertaining survey of the moose, Kevin Jackson shows how this large, ungainly herbivore has been used for food, sport and entertainment by successive generations of North Americans.’ – The Guardian

‘The moose can boast an impressive array of accomplishments. In this entertaining survey of the animal's place in history and culture, we learn that it provided Chipewyan tribes with “parchment, leather, lines and cords . . . thread and glue . . . handles . . . spoons . . . tools . . . gowns, firebags, mittens, moccasins, and trousers”. All this and food.’ – Independent on Sunday

‘an affectionate portrait of a little studied, oft-derided animal . . . Kevin Jackson avoids the tendency to cram in too much; for him, the moose has always been a totem, and this affinity affords him ease with his ungainly yet beguiling subject.’ – TLS

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Kevin Jackson is the author of many books, including, most recently, The Pataphysical Flook (2007), The Book of Hours (2007), and Lawrence of Arabia (2007).