Last Dinosaur Book The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon

ISBN-10: 0226532046
ISBN-13: 9780226532042
Edition: N/A
List price: $35.00
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Description: For animals that have been dead millions of years, dinosaurs are extraordinarily pervasive in our everyday lives. Appearing in ads, books, movies, museums, television, toy stores, and novels, they continually fascinate both adults and children. How  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 11/1/1998
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 329
Size: 6.75" wide x 10.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.332
Language: English

For animals that have been dead millions of years, dinosaurs are extraordinarily pervasive in our everyday lives. Appearing in ads, books, movies, museums, television, toy stores, and novels, they continually fascinate both adults and children. How did they move from natural extinction to pop culture resurrection? What is the source of their powerful appeal? Until now, no one has addressed this question in a comprehensive way. In this lively and engrossing exploration of the animal's place in our lives, W.J.T. Mitchell shows why we are so attached to the myth and the reality of the "terrible lizards." Mitchell aims to trace the cultural family tree of the dinosaur, and what he discovers is a creature of striking flexibility, linked to dragons and mammoths, skyscrapers and steam engines, cowboys and Indians. In the vast territory between the cunning predators of Jurassic Park and the mawkishly sweet Barney, from political leviathans to corporate icons, from paleontology to Barnum and Bailey, Mitchell finds a cultural symbol whose plurality of meaning and often contradictory nature is emblematic of modern society itself. As a scientific entity, the dinosaur endured a near-eclipse for over a century, but as an image it is enjoying its widest circulation. And it endures, according to Mitchell, because it is uniquely malleable, a figure of both innovation and obsolescence, massive power and pathetic failure--the totem animal of modernity. Drawing unforeseen and unusual connections at every turn between dinosaurs real and imagined, The Last Dinosaur Book is the first to delve so deeply, so insightfully, and so enjoyably into our modern dino-obsession.

W. J. T. Mitchell is the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, the Department of Art History, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is also coeditor of the journal Critical Inquiry.

Reptilicus erectus
Big, Fierce, Extinct
A Stegosaurus Made of Money
The End of Dinosaurology
The Last Thunder Horse West of the Mississippi
Dinotopia: The Newt World Order
The Last Dinostory: As Told by Himself
Seeing Saurians
Sorting Species
Monsters and Dinomania
Big MacDino
The Totem Animal of Modernity
The Way of Dragons
Dry Bones
On the Evolution of Images
Thomas Jefferson, Paleontologist
Frames, Skeletons, Constitutions
The Victorian Dinosaur
Coming to America
Bones for Darwin's Bulldog
Schizosaur
Dinosaurs Moralized
Pale-Ontology, or It's Not Easy Being Green
Potlatch and Purity
Diplodocus carnegii
Totems and Bones
Indiana Jones and Barnum Bones
Worlds Well Lost
Bringing Down Baby
Miner's Canary or Trojan Horse?
The Age of Reptiles
The Hundred Story Beast
Structure, Energy, Information
Catastrophe, Entropy, Chaos
The Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction
Carnosaurs and Consumption
Why Children Hate Dinosaurs
Dinos R Us: Identification and Fantasy
Calvinosaurus: From T. rex to O. Rex
Transitional Objects: From Breast to Brontosaurus Paleoart
Scrotum Humanum
Science and Culture
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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