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Cockroach : Animal Series - Marion Copeland


Published: 1st March 2003
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The cockroach could not have scuttled along, almost unchanged, for two hundred and fifty million years - some two hundred and forty-nine before man evolved - unless it was doing something right.

It would be fascinating as well as instructive to have access to the cockroach's own record of its life on earth, to know its point of view on evolution and species domination over the millennia. Such chronicles would perhaps radically alter our perceptions of the dinosaur's span and importance - and that of our own development and significance. We might learn that throughout all these aeons, the dominant life form has been, if not the cockroach itself, then certainly the insect.

Attempts to chronicle the cockroach's intellectual and emotional life have been made only within the last century when a scientist titled his essay on the cockroach "The Intellectual and Emotional World of the Cockroach", and artists as radically different as Franz Kafka and Don Marquis created equally memorable cockroach protagonists. At least since Classical Greece, authors have brought cockroach characters into the foreground to speak for the weak and downtrodden, the outsiders, those forced to survive on the underside of dominant human cultures. Cockroaches have become the subjects of songs ("La Cucaracha"), have competed in 'roachraces' and have even ended up in recipes.

In this accessible, sympathetic and often humorous book, Marion Copeland examines the natural history, symbolism and cultural significance of this poorly understood and much-maligned insect.

About the Author

Marion Copeland is former Professor of English at Holyoke Community College, Massachusetts, US.



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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


A Great Read


from Perth WA

About Me Bookworm


  • Deeply Informative
  • Easy To Understand
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Educating Ignorant People
    • Gift
    • Reference

    Comments about Cockroach:

    For the curious, scared and ignorant "Cockroach" is a well written little book that will leave you wondering why there is so much fear and hatred associated with these little guys. Very readable this book gives readers insight into cockroach behaviours and the relationships they have had with humans over the years.
    I was left questioning my own opinion of these critters and recommend this book to anyone who looks upon the roach with fear or disgust.

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    thoroughly researched, eloquently written and richly illustrated ... an outstanding polemic in support of a much-loathed creature Times Literary Supplement this gripping little book is crawling with anecdotes ... New Scientist

    Introductionp. 7
    A Living Fossilp. 15
    What's in a Name?p. 44
    Fellow Travellerp. 60
    In the Mind of Man: Myth, Folklore and the Artsp. 79
    Tales from the Undersidep. 107
    Robo-roachp. 130
    The Golden Cockroachp. 148
    Timelinep. 170
    'La Cucaracha'p. 172
    Referencesp. 174
    Bibliographyp. 186
    Associationsp. 189
    Websitesp. 190
    Acknowledgmentsp. 191
    Photo Acknowledgementsp. 193
    Indexp. 196
    Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

    ISBN: 9781861891921
    ISBN-10: 186189192X
    Series: Animal Series
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 200
    Published: 1st March 2003
    Publisher: REAKTION BOOKS
    Country of Publication: GB
    Dimensions (cm): 19.0 x 13.5  x 1.3
    Weight (kg): 0.348