Through the Lion Gate
A History of the Berlin Zoo
Oxford University Press 2017
New Books in European StudiesNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books Network July 9, 2018 Craig Sorvillo
In his new book, Through the Lion Gate: A History of the Berlin Zoo (Oxford University Press, 2017), Gary Bruce, professor of history at the University of Waterloo, provides the first English-language history of the Berlin Zoo from its inception in 1844 until German reunification in 1990. Bruce demonstrates how the Berlin Zoo was a critical facet of Berlin’s social and cultural life. The zoo was also used by those in political power throughout German history to communicate messages to the larger public. According to Bruce the zoo remained popular throughout its history, even in Berlin’s darkest times. It allowed ordinary Germans to escape the difficulties of modern urban life for an afternoon, letting them dream of far flung places.