Call Number
Material Type
Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 636.1 RAU Adult NonFiction Book

On Order



Horses and humans share an ancient, profoundly complex relationship. Once our most indispensable companions, horses were for millennia essential in helping build our cities, farms, and industries. But during the twentieth century, in an increasingly mechanized society, they began to disappear from human history. In this esoteric and rich tribute, award-winning historian Ulrich Raulff chronicles the dramatic story of this most spectacular creature, thoroughly examining how they've been muses and brothers in arms, neglected and sacrificed in war yet memorialized in paintings, sculpture, and novels--and ultimately marginalized on racetracks and in pony clubs. Elegiac and absorbing, Farewell to the Horse paints a stunning panorama of a world shaped by hooves, and the imprint left on humankind."A beautiful and thoughtful exploration. . . . Farewell to the Horse is a grown-up, but also lyrical and creative, history book, and I very much enjoyed it."-- James Rebanks, author of the New York Times bestseller The Shepherd's Life

Author Notes

Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a literary translator of Arabic, German, and Russian into English.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Raulff's exceptionally thorough volume details the last century of the horse, that is, the long nineteenth century between Napoleon and WWI. The rise of machinery and advanced technology changed the nature of the human-equine relationship. Once our companion in agriculture and war, it became, Raulff notes with some dismissiveness, a recreational item, a mode of therapy, a status symbol, and a source of pastoral support for female puberty. In four sections, densely populated with tangents and philosophical musings, Raulff offers a look at a changing cultural landscape, primarily in western Europe, with the horse as one of the primary casualties of industry. The first section expounds on the horse as a necessary tool on farmlands, in cities, and in war; the second discusses fading academic and scientific interest. The third section addresses horse depictions in art, religion, and myth, while the fourth offers more personal narratives. The horse itself is only a peripheral character, serving, instead, primarily as the lens through which Raulff examines this cross section of human history. In sum, this is a historian's exploration of a tumultuous period.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2018 Booklist

Library Journal Review

To call this history from scientist and journalist Raulff (director, German Literature Archive in Marbach am Neckar) a sprawling work would be an understatement. The author's deep love of and fascination with all things equine is apparent in this beautifully translated deep dive into the history of humankind's relationship with the horse. Organized into four sections, the book leaves no stone unturned in examining the many ways in which horses have played key roles in civilization-in work, in war, in art, in symbolism, and in companionship-and how that relationship has drastically changed since World War II. The only criticism is that the amount of detail, which borders on encyclopedic, is often overwhelming. While beautifully written and undeniably compelling, this work has a very niche audience in mind. VERDICT Anyone with a love of horses will be in paradise reading this reverently catalogued tribute. Cultural anthropologists and historians will also appreciate.-Jennifer Stout, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Lib., Richmond © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. vii
The Long Farewellp. 1
Part I The Centaurian Pact Energy
Hell for Horsesp. 23
A Pastoral Incidentp. 47
Riding Westp. 70
The Shockp. 92
The Jewish Horsewomanp. 116
Part II A Phantom of the Library Knowledge
Blood and Speedp. 137
The Anatomy Lessonp. 157
Connoisseurs and Conmenp. 178
Researchersp. 199
Part III The Living Metaphor Pathos
Napoleonp. 231
The Fourth Riderp. 248
The Whipp. 265
Turin: A Winter's Talep. 292
Part IV The Forgotten Player Histories
Teeth and Timep. 318
Conquestp. 333
Out of the Picturep. 351
Herodotusp. 364
Notesp. 376
Acknowledgementsp. 439
Indexp. 441

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