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Response to Review of Animal City: The Domestication of America

I would like to thank Dr. Thomas Almeroth-Williams for his deep, generous, and engaged reading and review of Animal City. I am pleased to see Animal City  in good company in Almeroth-Williams’s footnotes, and would also add his own recent book, City of Beasts: How Animals Shaped Georgian London (2019) as a welcome addition to the vibrant and burgeoning field of animal history—specifically urban animal history. As Almeroth-Williams notes (and no doubt understands first hand), animal history poses a variety of challenges to historians in terms of sources, perspectives, and methodologies. These challenges, however, are far outweighed by the wide-ranging insights such histories can offer. When Almeroth-Williams writes that I ‘could scarcely have imagined a year like 2020’ when I wrote Animal City he is perhaps understating the point. Nevertheless, I am grateful to hear that Animal City feels relevant in trying to make sense of these unusual times, as Americans and others continue to grapple with questions of ‘government, regulation, public health, policing and justice; the far-reaching effects of social inequality; and alarming global developments in human–animal relations.’ Thank you for this thoughtful review.