This book tells the story of a little horse that helped launch the humane treatment of animals movement by showing what is possible using kindness in training/teaching methods. His owner, Dr. William Key, taught Beautiful Jim to recognize letters, numbers, and words and respond to questions by spelling his answers. Unlike Clever Hans, who was proved to be getting cues from his handler and could only perform when his handler was close by, Jim really seemed to have learned his letters. He could, and frequently would, answer questions put to him by his audience while his owner wasn't anywhere close around. I really wish there were records that could be studied by scientists today to see what was going on.
Anyone who enjoyed Seabiscuit: An American Legend or Black Beauty will enjoy this book. It's a wonderful look back at an amazing animal and an amazing time in history.