About the Book
He believed the dog was immortal...' So begins the sweeping story of Rin Tin Tin:
the story of a canine superstar and of American popular culture, spanning nearly a
century and many human lives, told in the inimitable style of Susan Orlean, the
Sunday Times bestselling author of The Orchid Thief.
'This brilliantly conceived account of obsession... reads like a novel.' Independent
From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World
War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world.
Rin Tin Tin's improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog's first blockbuster film
and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine
hero's legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to
keeping him and his descendants alive.
At its heart, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and
animals. But it is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and
entrepreneurship and the changing role of dogs in the American family and society. Almost
ten years in the making, Susan Orlean's first original book since The Orchid Thief is a tour de
force of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling - the ultimate must-read for anyone
who loves great dogs or great yarns.