198 pages

English language

Published 2011 by Reaktion Books.

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5 stars (1 review)

Donkeys have historically been among our most useful domesticated animals--from plowing fields to navigating difficult terrain; however, they have been much maligned in popular culture and given very little respect. Jill Bough champions this humble creature, proving that after 10,000 years of domestication, this incredibly hard-working animal deserves our appreciation. With accounts that are both fascinating and touching, this cultural history of the donkey will inspire a new respect and admiration for this essential creature.

2 editions

reviewed Donkey by Jill Bough (Animal)

A captivating and occasionally heart-wrenching exposé on the human-donkey relationship

5 stars

As someone with a fondness for, but little knowledge of donkeys and their kin, I found this book to be an enlightening introduction to the long and often abusive relationship humans have with the species. I enjoyed the author's unreservedly pro-donkey attitude as she describes their origins and domestication, depictions in mythology, history and religion, uses in colonisation and war, and finally depictions in literature and art throughout the ages.


  • Social aspects
  • Animals and civilization
  • Donkeys in art
  • Donkeys in literature
  • Asses
  • Mules
  • Donkeys
  • Human-animal relationships
  • Animals in motion pictures