An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2014: As a kid, Laurel Braitman read Charlotte’s Web and suspected that animals really could talk. As a PhD student at MIT studying scientific history, she again honed in on animals in her research. But it wasn’t until she and her husband adopted a Bernese Mountain Dog named Oliver that animal psychology became the puzzle she most urgently wanted to solve. Oliver was inexplicably, uncontrollably anxious, snapping at invisible flies and shredding furniture when he was left alone. When he chewed through a screen, leapt from a fourth-story window, and—incredibly--survived, Braitman became intent on finding a way to help him. In Animal Madness, she shares how “one anxious dog brought me the entire animal kingdom.” Elements of memoir make the story more poignant, but it’s primarily a lively, deeply researched history and an unflinching look at the trauma of modern-day captivity in medical labs and faux-natural zoos. What she discovered about how animal minds go awry and the ways their disorders--from depression to anxiety to OCD and PTSD--look so much like our own (and vice versa) challenge and transform our understanding of the animal experience. What she discovered about how they heal illuminates how humans, too, can come back from the brink. --Mari Malcolm
I read myself to sleep every night, and this book has me staying up late!
In it, Braitman shares science, anthropology, history, and personal narrative and weaves them all together using her elegant and engaging writing style.
You will also feel empathy--for the writer, the animals she loves, the world she explores, and for yourself.
This book is hard to put down. She addresses animal behavior and human behavior from many directions. Read morePublished 1 day ago by C. Matthews
I finished reading Animal Madness last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a Psychology major in undergrad and too often read books on the subject that were badly written and... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Scott Blake
Very self-indulgent on the part of the author. I you want to hear an explanation of how the author did not drive two pets and an ex-husband crazy, this is the book for you.Published 3 days ago by KM
Braitman does a great job engaging the reader with personal anecdotes woven in between research. What results is a very readable, engaging story that animal lovers and pet... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Meredith
I liked this so well I am also donating a copy to my library which only has it on loan. Lots has been written to prove many animals have feelings, etc, but this book graphically... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Susan Titus Glascoff
I'm very lucky that Laurel Braitman stopped by my blog to tell me that the book was in Kindle format. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Chris H