Genetic Tails: Author Mark Derr on Thurs., June 29

Author and dog expert Mark Derr’s books explore the connection between humans and canines, join him at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, June 29 at 7 p.m. as he talks about the unique bond between humans and dogs This event is part of the Jesup and the Jackson Laboratory’s “Genetic Tails” series of events celebrating man’s best friend.

Derr’s books include “How the Dog Became the Dog: From Wolves to Our Best Friends,” “A Dog’s History of America: How Our Best Friend Explored Conquered and Settled a Continent,” and “Dog’s Best Friend: Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship.” In “How the Dog Became the Dog,” Derr explores how wolves evolved to become dogs. Marc Bekoff, author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals” writes, “Mark Derr, shows that one can be scientifically rigorous and still write a highly engaging and accessible account of how the dog became the dog. Derr shows how shared sociability and curiosity drew wolves and humans together resulting in a close and enduring relationship of mutual utility.” Booklist calls the book, an “essential read for dog lovers.” And in “A Dog’s History of America,” Derr looks at the ways in which we have used canines—as sled dogs and sheepdogs, hounds and Seeing Eye dogs, guard dogs, show dogs, and bomb-sniffing dogs—as he tracks changes in American culture and society.

As an expert on the subject of dogs, Derr has been a guest on such programs as Charlie Rose and Fresh Air. His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, Huffinton Post, Natural History, Smithsonian and The New York Times. He also writes a blog for “Psychology Today” called Dog’s Best Friend. His March 1990 cover story in The Atlantic Monthly, “The Politics of Dogs,” chronicled the overbreeding of dogs for show and for profit and set off a national debate. He lives in Miami Beach, Florida.

This event is co-sponsored by the Jackson Laboratory. Books will be on sale that night courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books. This program was made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (#LG-80-15-0041-15) administered through Cornerstones of Science.

For more information, contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245 or kchagnon@jesuplibrary.org.