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Pigeons
by

They have been worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace. Domesticated since the dawn of humankind, they have been crucial to wartime communications for every major historical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States and are credited with saving thousands of lives. One delivered the results of the first Olympics in 776 BC and another brought the news of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo more than 2500 years later. Yet today the pigeon is reviled as a rat with wings. How did we come to misunderstand one of humanity's most steadfast companions?In Pigeons, Andrew D. Blechman travels across the United States and Europe in a quest to chronicle the bird's transformation from beloved friend to feathered outlaw. From Brooklyn's Main Event, the pigeon world's equivalent of the Melbourne Cup, to the eighty third Grand National, with its thousands of bizarre and beautiful show pigeons, to one of the oldest and biggest squab farms, Blechman takes you deep into the weird and wonderful world of pigeon fanaticism. He meets with pigeon fanciers and pigeon haters alike; chases Mike Tyson, America's most famous pigeon lover; and for the first time tells the remarkable story behind this seemingly unremarkable bird. You'll never look at a pigeon the same way again.'Do yourself a favor by reading Blechman's charming book. For once, a subtitle that doesn't exaggerate!' - The New York Times

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Overview

They have been worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace.

Domesticated since the dawn of humankind, they have been crucial to wartime communications for every major historical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States and are credited with saving thousands of lives. One delivered the results of the first Olympics in 776 BC and another brought the news of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo more than 2500 years later.

Yet today the pigeon is reviled as a rat with wings. How did we come to misunderstand one of humanity's most steadfast companions? In Pigeons, Andrew D. Blechman travels across the United States and Europe in a quest to chronicle the bird's transformation from beloved friend to feathered outlaw.

From Brooklyn's Main Event, the pigeon world's equivalent of the Melbourne Cup, to the eighty third Grand National, with its thousands of bizarre and beautiful show pigeons, to one of the oldest and biggest squab farms, Blechman takes you deep into the weird and wonderful world of pigeon fanaticism. He meets with pigeon fanciers and pigeon haters alike; chases Mike Tyson, America's most famous pigeon lover; and for the first time tells the remarkable story behind this seemingly unremarkable bird.

You'll never look at a pigeon the same way again.

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Andrew D. Blechman

Andrew D. Blechman is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the Los Angeles Times and the Des Moines Register. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Smithsonian Magazine and The New York Times. He currently divides his time between Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and Germany.