Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity

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9781861971821: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity
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Very Good, Very good hardback copy of an important work of reference; dust jacket a little loosely fitting; green cloth cover as new; internally, the book seems apparently unread, tight, unmarked and intact.

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Review:

The claim that homosexual interactions among people are unnatural depends on the assumption that homosexual interactions between mammals and birds are rare. Bagemihl has an unabashed agenda, which is to demonstrate the contrary--he convincingly demolishes many of the standard zoological accounts and provides coherent evidence for bisexual and exclusively homosexual behaviour among many species. Where zoologists have admitted this, they have tried to explain it away as dominance behaviour, or the result of sexual monopolies; Bagemihl argues that homosexual interactions are particularly common among species like the small chimpanzees, the bonobo, whose behaviour patterns are not hierarchy-related. He has much fun in the process; this is often a very funny book in its demolition of standard scientific paradigms. Bagemihl provides an extensive gazetteer of species of mammals and birds; why, somehow, is it unsurprising about flamingos and sparrows and giraffes? And why are the photographs of walruses and elephants at it so charmingly comical? Bagemihl offers hostages to fortune in providing so many line drawings of gay sex among species where there happen to be no useful photographs and in his philosophical perspective--an assumption of neo-vitalism that comes perilously close to talking of the Life Force--but his principal case is well and clearly made. --Roz Kaveney

Review:

"In Biological Exuberance Bruce Bagemihl has done an extraordinary job in compiling a vast bestiary. The species-by-species accounts of adult mammals and birds of the same sex courting and mounting each other, living in pairs, defending joint territories, and raising young together are fully documented and referenced, and this book should surely become the standard reference work for research on the topics covered." -- Nature magazine, 4 February 1999

"A brilliant and important exercise in exposing the limitations of received opinion, this book presents to the lay reader and specialist alike an exhaustively argued case that animals have multiple shades of sexual orientation... What might so easily have turned into a tub-thumping activist tract hitched to the need for acceptance of homosexuality in humans, is instead elevated to a hugely inclusive, celebratory biological interpretation of the world." -- Publishers Weekly, 21 December 1998

"A scholarly, exhaustive, and utterly convincing refutation of the notion that human homosexuality is an aberration in nature... Bagemihl does realize that some among us will never be convinced that homosexuality occurs freely and frequently in nature. But his meticulously gathered, cogently delivered evidence will quash any arguments to the contrary." -- Kirkus Reviews, 28 November 1998

"Bagemihl's bestiary of homosexual behavior really impressed me. It is very clear that animals do it very regularly right across the animal kingdom. The beauty of the book is all that data-- how much that guy's read. This book should not be ignored." -- Dr. Paul Harvey, evolutionary biologist, Oxford University, quoted in New Scientist, 7 August 1999

"Bagemihl's monumental BIOLOGICAL EXUBERANCE embraces paradox and celebrates seemingly incompatible phenomena while forging a compelling argument about the very essence of existence... it is a landmark in the literature of science." -- Chicago Tribune, 28 February 1999

"Bagemihl's revelations on the one-night stands and committed relationships among same-sex beasts are nothing short of ground-breaking. To date, no one has dared to suggest that the natural bent of animals might be anything other than straight and designed primarily for reproduction. ...although specialists have occasionally talked of multi-male or multi-female associations, they have never given these 'bestial' acts their true name. [Bagemihl], however, has been brave enough to call a peacock a peacock and term it 'homosexuality." -- Financial Times, 3 April 1999

"Bagemihl's work is tinged with comedy as he describes how biologists and zoologists have for years stifled or skirted the fact that animals under their observation are up to all sorts of naughtiness... his book is more than a polemic of sexual politics or a queering of zoology... Instead Bagemihl is more or less taking the recent revolution in attitudes to human sexuality into the 'natural' world." -- Times Higher Education Supplement, 18 June 1999

"By producing a work that is accessible to the general reader while engaging for the specialist, Bagemihl has accomplished a most extraordinary feat. In the tradition of the finest nonfiction, this is a book that will force us to reexamine who we are and what we believe." -- Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 April 1999

"Here's a book that will bamboozle and amaze you... a romp through polymorphous perversity in all its natural splendor." -- Time Out, 14 July 1999

"In this astounding book, Bruce Bagemihl shows that homosexuality is little short of ubiquitous in nature... Bagemihl draws on, and persuasively interprets, a vast amount of data, going back many decades. ...[and] is eloquent about the wrongheadedness of the dominance argument... It's a small criticism of Biological Exuberance to say that it comprises two or three books-- only one of them a world-changing piece of work." -- The Observer, 25 July 1999

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312253776: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (Stonewall Inn Editions (Paperback))

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ISBN 10:  031225377X ISBN 13:  9780312253776
Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl, 2000
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9780312192396: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity

St. Ma..., 1998
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9780965880015: Biological Exuberance - Animal Homosexuality And Natural Diversity

St. Ma..., 1999
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