*Starred Review* Field biologist and National Book Award–winner Schaller is a guiding light in global wildlife conservation. In this richly textured chronicle of five decades of world travels, he combines a provocative apologia with unforgettable tales of his encounters with gorillas, tigers, pandas, snow leopards, and jaguars. Of all the landscapes he’s traversed, Schaller is most profoundly tied to the great northern plain of the Tibetan Plateau, the Chang Tang. And of that region’s 150 or so mammal species, he is most captivated by the Tibetan antelope, or chiru. With stinging wit, quiet drama, and evocative humility, Schaller chronicles his 20-year effort to solve the mystery of the chiru’s migration and reverse its near extinction. Schaller writes with piquant candor about how haphazard, ill-advised, contentious, and politicized expeditions can be. He reveals the source of his devotion to nature by telling the story of his harrowing childhood as the son of a German diplomat father and an American mother in Germany during WWII, then in postwar America. With a ringing call for the protection of entire ecosystems, Schaller’s forthright, enlightening book of discovery reseeds our appreciation for the wonders of the planet, perception of the “heavy human hand on the landscape,” and recognition of the need for a global “conservation ethic.” --Donna Seaman
"To protect unspoiled places, Schaller must shed his natural reticence to negotiate with his fellow human beings. In the case of the high steppes, these include families putting out poison for animals wrongly perceived as pests, herders trading horses for motorcycles and, more threatening, gold miners. He’s willing to sit down and educate people, sometimes even to compromise, but he has no sympathy for those who get a charge out of reducing the number of his beloved animals one at a time. Late in Tibet Wild, Schaller briefly shares a camp with a foreign hunter who’s grousing that he had to wait three whole days to get his final shot at a Marco Polo ram, whose massive curved horns are a coveted trophy. Schaller, the man who spent 17 years trying to find the chiru’s calving ground, has little patience for such behavior. “Hunting is not a sport,” he notes. “Animals don’t just lose, they die.”"
(The New York Times
“Poignant …Tibet Wild…lays out an open-ended account of the struggle to save wild places and their inhabitants. I can’t recall any book that has made me care as much or think harder about how we might do that.”
"Schaller's huge knowledge means a dedicated reader can revel in a deep and intricate portrayal of Tibet's mythically beautiful visual and emotive environments."
(Times Literary Supplement
"For the past three decades his studies have been largely confined to mysterious animals most people have never heard of. A summing up in his 80th year appears now, with helpful maps and 32 color photographs, in Tibet Wild."
"Schaller is a guiding light in global wildlife conservation. In this richly textured chronicle of five decades of world travels, he combines a provocative apologia with unforgettable tales of his encounters with gorillas, tigers, pandas, snow leopards, and jaguars. ... Schaller’s forthright, enlightening book of discovery reseeds our appreciation for the wonders of the planet, perception of the 'heavy human hand on the landscape,' and recognition of the need for a global 'conservation ethic.'"
"His descriptions...are particularly evocative, and give the lie to notions of glamour in field biology....fascinating"
(BBC Wildlife Magazine
"Tibet Wild is one of Schaller’s best works, combining wild adventure with insightful recommendations for people and nature. And it demonstrates why “old-fashioned” field biology is still an essential part of conservation, and of science."
(The Nature Conservancy's Cool Green Science blog
"Tibet Wild sings with Schaller's tenacity, patience, and passion"
"With winter coming on, I enthusiastically recommend adding Tibet Wild to your reading list."
(Sustainability: The Journal of Record
"Tibet Wild is a finely crafted memoir detailing George B. Schaller's travels and conservation projects in the rugged Tibetan Plateau."
(Andrea Miller Shambala Sun
"Tibet Wild is a fascinating book of a little known part of the world. It should be read by anyone interested in the Tibetan Plateau. Field biologists, range ecologists, pastoral development specialists, tourists and even Tibetan monks will all find something of interest in Schaller’s evocative writing."
"This book may be his swan song: the last of the classic Western naturalists travels to perhaps the last place on earth inhabited but not controlled by humans....Beautifully written, the book offers breathtaking natural history, and the human side of daily life in zones we only know from war and conflict (Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Tibet-China border)....Readers may find hope in Schaller's example of a life dedicated to saving a planet where chiru, tiny rabbits, snow leopards, and human beings of every race, gender, and nation are all animals working to survive."
(SciTech Book News
"He discusses his efforts to use his knowledge of natural history to educate local populations on how to promote effective conservation measures, and also addresses the political and economic realities that complicate doing so. Readers will come away with a firsthand understanding of the rewarding career of a modern conservationist."
(J.W. Dauben Choice
"George Schaller's stature as a great naturalist and conservation scientist, his unique and intimate familiarity with his subject, and his excellent prose style together make Tibet Wild
a classic." (E.O. Wilson University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
"This is a remarkably close-up and revealing story from the world's top field scientist, the chronicler of the lives of pandas, gorillas and lions. In Tibet Wild
, Schaller addresses such little known creatures as Marco Polo sheep, snow leopards, chiru antelope, horse-like kiang and the peoples that live with them. He writes penetratingly, but with a grace and sensitivity that touches the heart." (William Conway Senior Conservationist, Wildlife Conservation Society
"In Tibet Wild
, he not only offers a case study in protecting an obscure mammal on tricky political turf but also reflects on his previous projects, many of which resulted in protected, self-sustaining populations of once-imperiled species...[It] has a valedictory quality. Mr. Schaller revisits old journals and quotes from earlier works such as The Last Panda
. During freezing cold nights in his field tent, he tries to puzzle out whether his youthful experience of war and subsequent immigration to the United States as an enemy alien helped to form his reticent character, his distaste for crowds, technology and weapons, his wanderlust, and his attraction to stark places like the Chang Tang. Distinguished by these reflections, Tibet Wild
would be a fine introduction to Mr. Schaller's writing and remarkably accomplished life for new readers." (The Wall Street Journal