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Footsteps in the Jungle: Adventures in the Scientific Exploration of American Tropics Hardcover – October 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-1566631372 ISBN-10: 1566631378 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Maslow (Torrid Zone) offers a collection of 13 superficial biographical sketches of individuals who have brought the American tropics alive for the rest of us. The personalities are surely fascinating?individuals like Charles Waterton, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, William Beebe, Archie Carr and Margaret Mee. The profiles fall flat, however, in part because each chapter is so abbreviated that little depth is achieved and in part because each contains almost random snippets taken from the writing of its subject. The biggest shortcoming is best exemplified in a line Maslow writes in his sketch of Henry Walter Bates: "we never make much headway on the question of what possesses a man to break all ties with home, country, and family, and bury himself for years in the jungle of a foreign continent." No such insights are provided for any of Maslow's subjects. He fails to comment on, perhaps even to notice, the most striking fact of all: in the fewer than 200 years since Alexander von Humboldt first began exploring the tropics, ecologist Daniel Janzen is struggling to re-create tropical forests ravaged in Costa Rica for short-term economic gain. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Nature author Maslow (Sacred Horses: The Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy, LJ 5/1/94) recounts the adventures of 13 scientist-explorers in the American tropics, from Alexander von Humboldt at the end of the 18th century to today's Alexander Skutch and Daniel Janzen. From the coral reefs off Haiti to the Amazonian jungles and the Argentine pampas, Maslow vividly describes the experiences, drives, and foibles of each naturalist, creating in the reader a saududes, or "possession by a place." His book is also a plea for the conservation of tropical areas, a cause championed by many explorers, especially recent ones. Maslow liberally sprinkles the text with quotes from the explorers' own accounts, which should entice readers to track down the original. Highly recommended for high school, undergraduate, and public library collections.?Bruce D. Neville, Univ. of Texas at El Paso Lib.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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