Second in the German series which began with Ceram's Gods, Graves and Scholars, this animal social history attempts a unique presentation of the evolution of animal life, and its role in relation to man and history. The stuff for an exciting book is here -- but somehow it lacks the divine spark which made Gods, Graves and Scholars an adventure in reading. The scientist, the naturalist, the people who like their facts marshalled in systematic and orderly fashion, will find this rewarding- if not absorbing- reading. The story of evolution is here, though in terms of probable chronological processes, successive changes, rather than through the men who launched their revolutionary theories (as in Time, Man and Fossils). There is the more familiar story of the domestication of animals, the beginnings of trades dependent upon animals, the role of animals in religion, in fable, in history, in society. There's the panorama of today's developments, many discoveries based on animal experimentation, in the fields of microbiology, synthetics, medicine, eugenics. And throughout, there are odd bits of human interest, glimpses at the adventure of discovery, fragments of stories of animals themselves, new slants on history, on geography, on zoology and biology. It is hard to know why it didn't hold me spellbound, as the other books did.