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Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States > 006056704X
  1. Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of the World's Smartest Horse
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  2. Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of the World's Smartest Horse

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (48 reviews)
    Price R424.00

Additional Information

Beautiful Jim Key -- the one-time ugly duckling of a scrub colt who became one of the most beloved heroes of the turn of the century -- was adored not for his beauty and speed but rather for his remarkable abilities to read, write, spell, do mathematics, even debate politics. Trained with patience and kindness by one of the most renowned horse whisperers of his day -- former slave, Civil War veteran, and self-taught veterinarian Dr. William Key -- Jim performed in expositions across the country to wildly receptive crowds for nine glorious years, smashing box office records, clearing towering hurdles of skepticism and prejudice, and earning the respect and admiration of some of the most influential figures of the era, from Booker T. Washington to President William McKinley.

This is the remarkable true saga of a truly exceptional animal -- and the no less exceptional man who led him to greatness.

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Mim E. Rivas
William Morrow Paperbacks
William Morrow Paperbacks
William Morrow Paperbacks
William Morrow Paperbacks
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This book is in my Top Five to recommend. It was such a great read that I tried not to finish it too fast because I did not want the story to end. It is filled with great background information covering the various World's Fairs to Slavery to the Civil War. It is not just a book about an incredible horse, but of his teacher as well as the mindset of our race and the history being made during that time period. Jim and Bill Keys connection to animal rights were equally facinating. To me this book is in the vein of "The Professor and the Madman" offering an excellent story with welcomed historical information.
Am a little shocked to find such harshly negative reviews of the book; this is easily one of the best animal books ever written. Arguably one of America's first media "superstars", Beautiful Jim Key toured the country for many years performing and was a major catalyst for both animal rights and human rights as well. It should also be stressed that the horse's act was minutely scrutinized by reporters and a team of professors from Harvard, who found no secret coaching or cues were given to the horse - he really could do everything it was claimed he could do, although the book only lightly touches on how long and arduous a process teaching him must have been. Any animal lover and/or history buff will fall in love with this book and never want it to end.
I purchased this in soft cover, planning to give it to my mother for Christmas, but I read it first and liked it enough that I ordered the hard cover for my mother and kept the soft cover for myself. This is a fascinating read. What makes it more than a great animal story is the way it is told within the historical context of the time. There were so many interesting facts and descriptions detailing the period from before, during, and after the Civil War, Reconstruction, and into the early 20th century. The subject matter is extremely fresh, told in an easy manner that makes it fast and easy to read and yet memorable and thought provoking. The subtitle of the soft cover is slightly different from the hard cover -- soft says, the Lost History of the World's Smartest Horse; hard says, the Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World. I suspect the change was made to attract readers. The text is the same in both versions.
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