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A Window on Eternity: A Biologist's Walk Through Gorongosa National Park [Kindle Edition with Audio/Video]

E. O Wilson , Piotr Naskrecki
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $30.00
Kindle Price: $14.99
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Book Description

A Window on Eternity is a stunning book of splendid prose and gorgeous photography about one of the biologically richest places in Africa and perhaps in the world. Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique was nearly destroyed in a brutal civil war, then was reborn and is now evolv-ing back to its original state. Edward O. Wilson’s personal, luminous description of the wonders of Gorongosa is beautifully complemented by Piotr Naskrecki’s extraordinary photographs of the park’s exquisite natural beauty. A bonus DVD of Academy Award–winning director Jessica Yu’s documentary, The Guide, is also included with the book.

Wilson takes readers to the summit of Mount Gorongosa, sacred to the local people and the park’s vital watershed. From the forests of the mountain he brings us to the deep gorges on the edge of the Rift Valley, previously unexplored by biologists, to search for new species and assess their ancient origins. He describes amazing animal encounters from huge colonies of agricultural termites to spe­cialized raider ants that feed on them to giant spi­ders, a battle between an eagle and a black mamba, “conversations” with traumatized elephants that survived the slaughter of the park’s large animals, and more. He pleads for Gorongosa—and other wild places—to be allowed to exist and evolve in its time­less way uninterrupted into the future.

As he examines the near destruction and rebirth of Gorongosa, Wilson analyzes the balance of nature, which, he observes, teeters on a razor’s edge. Loss of even a single species can have serious ramifications throughout an ecosystem, and yet we are carelessly destroying complex biodiverse ecosystems with unknown consequences. The wildlands in which these ecosystems flourish gave birth to humanity, and it is this natural world, still evolving, that may outlast us and become our leg­acy, our window on eternity.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A man of towering achievements, biologist and Pulitzer Prize winner Wilson (Letters to a Young Scientist, 2013) is still happiest in the field, alert to new discoveries. In his latest book, this inspiring teacher and clarion voice of reason and wonder, compassion and realism turns his exploration of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park in search of “previously little-known insect fauna” into a walking seminar on the grand and complex web of life and how human activity imperils it. Damaged by a brutal civil war, poverty, deforestation, and poaching, Gorongosa, a place of caves, ravines, rain forests, and mountains, is now being restored, thanks to the government’s innovative partnership with American philanthropist Gregory Carr. Fascinated by the region’s natural and human history, Wilson conducts Gorongosa’s first “bioblitz,” in which local children and adults count wildlife species, and revels in his own encounters. He explains why “Africa needs its elephants” and celebrates all the “little things that run the world,” including his specialty, ants, and mound-building termites. Profoundly knowledgeable and passionately appreciative of the beauty and ferocity of life and its finely calibrated and vulnerable equilibrium, Wilson calls for more “inviolate nature reserves” around the world because wildlands “maintain the stability” of the biosphere, and nature “is the birthright of everyone on Earth.” --Donna Seaman


“A lyrical ode to biodiversity. . . . Wilson speaks with passion throughout. . . . This volume’s visual content [is] as remarkable as the stories.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“The rebirth of a premier nature reserve in Mozambique, recounted in a gentle storytelling style by noted Harvard entomologist Wilson. . . . A big story about a small place with an ageless appreciation and discernment it would be criminal to ignore.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Product Details

  • File Size: 409174 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Har/DVD edition (April 22, 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DPM7T4A
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,679 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ray of Hope May 6, 2014
By Cirroc
A Window on Eternity describes the restoration of an important environmental reserve in Africa. Located in the country of Mozambique, the reserve is now called the Gorongosa National Park. The restoration detailed in the book is mind blowing. We learn that during the years 1980-1992, Mozambique was the site of a vicious civil war with human victims numbering in the millions. But humans were not the only victims. Almost all of the larger animals in Gorongosa National Park were killed. This is where most nature shows, documentaries or books would stop. They detail the destruction then leave you to say "what a shame." Not this book. And herein lies the magic of A Window on Eternity. After the war, we learn about the amazing people who work to restore the original wildlife and incredible web of species back to the park.

In our dying world, filled with human overpopulation and environmental destruction everywhere we look, it is easy to feel like trying to preserve the natural world is fighting a losing battle. This book tells us otherwise. It gives us hope by showing us a concrete example of environmental success. It reminds us what is possible. It shows us that we still have a chance to save our planet. It's not too late. Gorongosa is a shining of example of what happens when humans get it right.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty and Wisdom In Abundance May 2, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My son is reading this book and is once again in awe of E. O. Wilson and Piotr Naskrecki. He pauses now and then and sighs. "Their wisdom is so profound."
Everyone should read this book and pause. I too have looked at it and can not help but pause.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
The ebook is WONDERFUL! I was unaware of the existence of this national park in Mozambique until I saw E.O. Wilson interviewed recently. It is very encouraging to know that such a place exists and is being cared for so diligently. The short video on the young man of the village, a scientist in the making, is excellent and together with the book by Wilson it gives encouragement to those who are concerned about our planet's future. Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and insightful July 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
Beautiful and insightful look at nature from an extraordinarily gifted and mature scientist. I have been to Mozambique several times, which heightened my interest and understanding. Regretfully, my visits have not included Gorongosa, but I intend to remedy that. The book is a visual treat, with copious, amazing photos. Wilson exhibits great wisdom coming from an illustrious career. On a human scale, he shares deeply about his engagement with this unique venture in rehabilitation of a war devastated nature reserve, and about the future of life on earth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WIndow On Eternity June 28, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a beacon of hope, an example of what humanity can do if it wishes species to survive in their diversity. Gorongosa was a war torn park, species were reduced from hundreds to sometimes single digits. An entrepreneur, Gregory C Carr, along with E O Wilson to open a biodiversity research center there, has re-established the mega fauna to almost its original state. As habitat loss and poaching decrease wild animal populations world wide, this book is a positive note on what one species can do to open the window on eternity for itself and many others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the price. June 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
I first heard of this book on a late night show and am extremely pleased that I bought it. Well written with great photos. One is not overwhelmed with the details.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world we can learn about. June 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
Fantastic book to learn about a world most don't
Now about. I have read this work once and want to read it again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book June 6, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought as a book for a naturalist friend after hearing the author speak eloquently on NPR radio. Wonderful photos too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read, just not his best.
Published 3 months ago by me
5.0 out of 5 stars Here is why biodiversity matters
Edward O. Wilson may well be the pre-eminent ecologist of our time. This book (his 28th), informed by his long experience in ecological field work, presents a vital message: only... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christopher Paul Winter
4.0 out of 5 stars This was so much fun to read
This was so much fun to read. I loved the images mixed with the text as I normally do not read picture books. Read more
Published 4 months ago by TED KAZ
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a stunningly beautiful book. Wilson's words
This is a stunningly beautiful book. Wilson's words, Naskrecki's photos, and and additional dvd makes this a fantastic coffee table nature book worth reading as well as... Read more
Published 4 months ago by chris mclaughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautifully written and photographed. A window into how to save the planet
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Alas, Comes a Crank Job, from One of the Greatest of Biology Writers
I'm a great fan of E. O. Wilson, having read almost everything he's written in book form (alas, not his scientific papers) including "Ants". Read more
Published 6 months ago by RET
5.0 out of 5 stars As always, E. O Wilson expresses the immediate ...
As always, E.O Wilson expresses the immediate need for protection of natural areas that preserve plant and animal species. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Marjorie E.Streckfus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating read by an amazing author. Love his writings.
Published 8 months ago by Sherri B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It was interesting and well written but, short for the cost.
Published 8 months ago by Melissa Csikari
5.0 out of 5 stars Examining one of the biologically richest places in Africa and perhaps...

"Gorongosa National Park [in Mozambique, Southeast Africa], with the mountain [Mt. Gorongosa] forming its northwestern border, is a global treasure. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stephen Pletko
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More About the Author

Dr. Piotr (Peter) Naskrecki is a Polish-born entomologist, photographer and author, currently at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA.) His research focuses on the evolution of sound-producing insects, and the theory and practice of nature conservation.

As a writer, Piotr strives to promote appreciation and conservation of invertebrate animals - insects, arachnids, and their kin - by capturing both their beauty and roles as vital, often critically important members of the Earth's ecosystems. He is the author of over 30 scientific, peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and his photographs and nature writing have been published in a number of national and international publications, including The Smithsonian Magazine, Natural History, National Wildlife, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, BBC Knowledge, Terre Sauvage, Time magazine, Ranger Rick, and many others.

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