In a wonderful weave of science, metaphor, and prose, David Quammen, author of The Flight of the Iguana, applies the lessons of island biogeography - the study of the distribution of species on islands and islandlike patches of landscape - to modern ecosystem decay, offering us insight into the origin and extinction of species, our relationship to nature, and the future of our world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Quammen (Natural Acts) has successfully mixed genres in this highly impressive and thoroughly enjoyable work. The scientific journalism is first-rate, with the extremely technical field of island biogeography made fully accessible. We learn how the discipline developed and how it has changed conservation biology. And we learn just how critical this field is in the face of massive habitat destruction. The book is also a splendid example of natural history writing, for which Quammen traveled extensively. The Channel Islands off California and the Madagascan lemurs are captivatingly portrayed. Equally impressive are the character studies of the scientists who have been at the forefront of island biogeography. From his extended historical analysis of the journeys and insights of 19th-century biologist Alfred Russell Wallace to his field and laboratory interviews with many of the men and women who have followed in Wallace's intellectual wake, Quammen delightfully adds the human dimension to his discussion of science and natural history. Using a canvas as large as the world, he masterfully melds anecdotes about swimming elephants, collecting fresh feces from arboreal primates in Brazil and searching for the greater bird of paradise on the tiny island of Aru into an irreverent masterpiece. That a book on so technical a subject could be so enlightening, humorous and engaging is an extraordinary achievement. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Comprehesive book of specific extinctions, plus understanding of what could happen to endangered species.Published 15 days ago by Dustin LaBrier
This is a dense book that takes a lot of attention, but it's well worth the effort. Quammen writes in a surprisingly breezy style for what is, in the end, a scholarly book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tippa
Quammen is a great author... he does his homework and tells it in a interesting and entertaining way.Published 2 months ago by Terry Ginsberg
I read this book many years ago and i ran across some new information that triggered my interest in the book -again.
Simply put... Read more
Fantastic book by an engaging and personable author. Well researched and translated to a language anyone can understand, the book is enjoyable due to it's seamless melding of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by BeeJay
This is one of my favorite books on natural history, so well-written, and an interesting repertoire of topics.Published 7 months ago by Miguel Grande