Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird
Pigeons have been worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace. Domesticated since the dawn of man, they’ve been used as crucial communicators in war by every major historical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States and are credited with saving thousands of lives.... show more
Pigeons have been worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace. Domesticated since the dawn of man, they’ve been used as crucial communicators in war by every major historical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States and are credited with saving thousands of lives. Charles Darwin relied heavily on pigeons to help formulate and support his theory of evolution. Yet today they are reviled as rats with wings.” Author Andrew D. Blechman traveled across the United States and Europe to meet with pigeon fanciers and pigeon haters in a quest to find out how we came to misunderstand one of mankind’s most helpful and steadfast companions. Pigeons captures a Brooklyn man’s quest to win the Main Event (the pigeon world’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby), as well as a convention dedicated to breeding the perfect bird. Blechman participates in a live pigeon shoot where entrants pay $150; he tracks down Mike Tyson, the nation’s most famous pigeon lover; he spends time with Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Pigeon Handler; and he sheds light on a radical pro-pigeon underground’ in New York City. InPigeons, Blechman tells for the first time the remarkable story behind this seemingly unremarkable bird.
Publish date: October 6th 2006
Publisher: Grove Press
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
Pigeon racing, pigeons used to transport messages in war and peace, pigeons as pests, pigeons worshiped, etc.
Interesting but not gripping. I wish there were half stars, because this book falls somewhere between 2 & 3 for me. The author is more interested in the people than the birds. I was hoping for more about the birds. I did learn that pigeons aren't nearly the vermin we are taught to think of them as.
At the close of the book, Blechman acknowledges that when he began, he was more interested in writing about people obsessed with pigeons than the pigeons themselves. This was an interesting confirmation of my impression that pigeons were a secondary focus pretending to be primary. Yes, the text itse...