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The Horse

The Epic History of Our Noble Companion

Wendy Williams

Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Horse Download image

ISBN10: 0374536600
ISBN13: 9780374536602

Trade Paperback

320 Pages


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Journalist and equestrienne Wendy Williams chronicles the 56-million-year journey of horses as she visits with experts around the world, exploring what our biological affinities and differences can tell us about the bond between horses and humans, and what our longtime companions might think and feel. Recent scientific breakthroughs regarding the social and cognitive capacities of the horse and its ability to adapt to changing ecosystems indicate that this animal is a major evolutionary triumph.

Williams charts the course that leads to our modern Equus—from the protohorse to the Dutch Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, and cow ponies of the twenty-first century. She blends scientific insights with stories to create a unique biography of the horse as a sentient being.


Praise for The Horse

“Wendy Williams ropes together history, science, and fascinating personal experiences to give new insights on every page.”—Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer

“A magnificent natural history of this magnificent animal. Wendy Williams pursues the wild and ancient creatures who put into relief the very particular horse-human relationship we have today."—Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

“Wendy Williams has done her homework. She has roamed our world of horses—past, present, and future-revealing cognitive processes, emotions, and behaviors similar to those of humans.”—John W. Pilley, emeritus professor of psychology at Wofford College and bestselling author of Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words

“An enthusiastic history of and appreciation for all things horse . . . Anyone with a love of horses will treasure this book, which provides scholarly yet accessible insight into a beautifully constructed animal that has chosen to domesticate man, just as dogs have.”Kirkus Reviews

“Williams's book educates, entertains, and enthralls; it's part scientific discovery, part social commentary, and part history lesson, while always focusing on the relationship between horses and humans.”Publishers Weekly

“Williams details her conversations with various experts and her own visits to archaeological digs as she navigates the evolution of the horse, its development in a variety of landscapes, and its general adaptability.”Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



There is no doubt that horses will exist as long as the human race, and that is well, for we still have so much to learn about them.

—C. WILLIAM BEEBE, naturalist


About the author

Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams is a journalist whose work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other publications. She is the author of several books, including Kraken and Cape Wind, and is a lifelong equestrienne. She lives in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

Greg Auger

Wendy Williams

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