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Reel Nature : America's Romance With Wildlife on Film Hardcover – December 15, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0674715714 ISBN-10: 0674715713

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (December 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674715713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674715714
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,940,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

How the wildlife documentary got from Roosevelt to Disneyworld is a story of charlatans, hucksters, crooks, imaginative cameramen, brilliant zoology and shameless appeal to the sex and violence of life as cinema audiences have grown to expect it to be. Mitman...tells the American version of this lurid celluloid safari. (Tim Radford The Guardian)

American wildlife film-makers...abandoned truth in favor of more alluring lode stars. Reel Nature is an admirable history of why they did so. [The book] is about American wildlife film--an industry ruled ultimately by the standard of Hollywood...Very well told. (Stephen Mills Times Literary Supplement)

Mitman's book treats its subject in the broader context of natural science, living collections, and conservation...Fascinating coverage. (Thomas Lovejoy Science 2001-01-05)

Mitman's fascinating history of nature films revolves around the conflict between the quest for scientific authenticity and the demand for audience-pleasing dramatization...Mitman discusses the cultural impetus for the evolving perspectives of nature films over the decades, profiles the best and worst of nature filmmakers, chronicles tricky collaborations between scientific establishments and Hollywood, and analyzes Disney's taming of the wild and the huge success of television nature shows. He concludes that while nature films have had a positive impact on our understanding of nature, the whole truth about our place in the web of life has been left on the cutting-room floor. (Booklist)

The book's primary strength is its attention to the uncomfortable symbiosis among money, art, and science. There is more here, however, and two of Mitman's other themes deserve the reader's attention. One is his analysis of filmmakers' expression of ideas about race, empire, and the evolutionary ladder of human races; the other, his discussion of filmmakers' dependence on organizations. (Thomas R. Dunlap Pacific Northwest Quarterly)

In Reel Nature, Gregg Mitman weaves a tale about nature films and television programming in the 20th century, a tale filled with intrigue, controversy, and conflict over the commercial exploitation of nature…It is a well-documented, systematically analyzed, well- written, and compelling story for all interested in contemporary environmental ideology/policy. (Dr. Jo Liska Anthrozoos)

Reel Nature is a real achievement…it transcends the well-rehearsed arguments about correctness or distortion in science popularization by foregrounding a genre in which scientists were only one part of an inherently collaborative enterprise. (Philip J. Pauly Journal of the History of Biology)

Review

"American wildlife film-makers...abandoned truth in favor of more alluring lode stars. Reel Nature is an admirable history of why they did so. [The book] is about American wildlife film--an industry ruled ultimately by the standard of Hollywood....Very well told." -Stephen Mills --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Jordan on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book just to get a feel on how nature filming has progressed and where its roots lay. I was blown away by how in depth this book really was. I would suggest this book to anyone that wants to know about the history of wildlife film making and the people who made it happen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for learning about the full, detailed history of wildlife filmmaking. It outlines the controversies and debates on how to go about bringing wildlife to the public. An entertaining read.
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