The Secret History of Kindness: Learning from How Dogs Learn

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Product Details

$26.95  $25.06
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.5 X 1.0 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Melissa Holbrook Pierson is the author of The Perfect Vehicle, The Place You Love Is Gone, Dark Horses and Black Beauties, and The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing and The Secret History of Kindness. She lives in Shokan, New York.


This book reads like a novel, but it is deep science, too. A gifted and witty writer, Pierson uses a reporter's eye to inform us of a quiet, ever-spreading transformation in society, away from force to kindness. Among the characters in this adventure are her two dogs; a founding scientist named Fred Skinner; a Navy dolphin trainer, Bob Bailey; a distinguished behavior analyst, Murray Sidman--and me. I'm honored to be in her book and very grateful for her explanation of how this works. Click, Melissa!--Karen Pryor, author of Reaching the Animal Mind
Scientifically, artfully, and with the bold premise that gently training a dog can set the animal's 'master' on the path to enlightenment in all areas of life, Melissa Holbrook Pierson's new book proves how 'intelligent' humans have more in common with the bestiary's 'dumb' creatures than some of us will care to admit. Are you man enough to follow a canine master? More to the point, are you beast enough? Reading The Secret History of Kindness is one sure way to find out.--Julia Szabo, nationally recognized pet reporter, animal advocate, and author of Medicine Dog
Explores the philosophical intricacies of animal behavior, training, and human perceptions of control and empathy, leading the reader to think carefully about what truly motivates companion animals to obey human commands.-- "Publishers Weekly"
The best dog books enlighten us not just about animals, but also about ourselves and the world around us. Melissa Holbrook-Pierson's The Secret History of Kindness is that kind of book; it's among the best of the best.--Ken Foster, New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs Who Found Me and I'm a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America's Most Beautiful and Misunderstood Pet