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on May 6, 2014
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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on May 2, 2014
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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on May 20, 2014
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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on July 24, 2014
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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on June 28, 2014
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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on August 11, 2014
This book is really designed to be read/watched on a tablet/kindle/ipad type device, or on a PC. I was planning on buying copies of the book for friends, until I neared the end and watched the video about the park, a young worker and E.O. Wilson. Giving the book without the video would feel incomplete. E.O. Wilson is the most gentle and persuasive biologist/environmentalist i have ever read. The photography is incredible.
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on January 29, 2015
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 by preserving the immense biodiversity now existing on our planet will we assure our own long-term survival.

The message is framed in local terms: Gorongosa National Park, established with the help of American businessman Greg Carr after a civil war and commercial poaching in Mozambique had driven most of the area's large animals to the point of extinction, is well on the road to recovery. It remains one of the richest enclaves of biodiversity on the planet, and provides benefits to humans, not least of which is carefully managed tourism.

To summarize his view, he advocates the preservation of large tracts of protected wilderness alongside our cities and industrial zones. He writes on page 141, "By thus maintaining two parallel worlds on the planet, humanity will ensure the survival and continued advance of the rest of life, and of ourselves."

Dr. Wilson's lyrical writing, supplemented by more than 56 color photographs, conveys his message brilliantly. This is not a book for those who seek deep knowledge of ecology. As an overview for the general public, however, it is hard to surpass. I consider it a must-read.
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on June 25, 2014
In a remote corner of the African savanna, two mighty Kingdoms exist in a perpetual state of war. The balance of power is near absolute and the struggle has been going on for millennia. One Kingdom; peaceful agriculturist tending their crops of fungi and safe in their "fortress of solitude". Content with their King and Queen, they never leave the confines of their nest except when it's time for new Princes' and Princess' to venture forth and establish kingdoms of their own. They want for nothing and desire only to be left alone. The other Kingdom is a horde of savage warriors who scour the land for conquest and grant no quarter for their victims. It's an epic story of a timeless struggle, worthy of ancient Egypt or Mesoamerica but played out on a miniature scale and with Darwinian simplicity. The players in this mini-drama are termites and driver-ants and who better than Edward O Wilson to guide you through their domain. One of the worlds leading scientist, Wilson is a biologist by trade, specializing in ants. For the past 4 or 5 decades he has published numerous books for both the professional and the lay-reader and A Window on Eternity is his latest entry. Rather than a single issue volume this book is really a series of essays relating to the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. After Mozambique won its independence in the late '70s it suffered through years of civil war that impacted the cities and rural areas as well as the people that lived there. Buy it wasn't only the human world that felt the impact of war. The natural world, wildlife and the environment, as well came under threat, especially Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park. In 2011 Wilson and a team of international scientist came to Gorongosa to assess the damage done and devise a recovery plan for the park and it's wildlife. The essays themselves cover a wide range subjects and issues but all are centered on Gorongosa, it's history, wildlife and future. Chapter 9 is done in the style of a journal or log, giving the reader an idea of what day to day activities are like on a research expedition. In most of the other essays Wilson offers up insights and some speculation about the parks wildlife and environment based on the study group's findings. Chapters on elephants, crocodiles, spiders, ants and termites read like an animals lovers dream. Sections on human evolution and the importance of dung to the overall health of the environment get equal treatment. The book closes with Wilson's personal feelings on the current state of the natural world and what our responsibilities might be to put things back on track. At under 200 pages A Window on Eternity is a short, fast read that anyone interested in nature should find enjoyable. Along with the text the book features maps by David Cain and the incredible nature photography of Piotr Naskrecki who was also one of group's entomologist (insect scientist). Of special note are Naskrecki's shots of insects and other wildlife, there's a beautiful full page portrait of a praying mantis that should be on display in a museum. There's a DVD included with the book; a documentary done in the style of BBC/Nature and filmed by Jessica Yu. Basically it covers Gorongosa NP and the local people that the park hopes to benefit the most. Featuring a mini-biography of a young local and his dreams of a better life through education and employment at the park. It also has an interview with E O Wilson and lots of footage of people, animals and the Gorongosa itself. Together, the book and DVD gave me an inside look at Mozambique, it's people and it's marvelous natural wonders. I now have a new destination on my "bucket list" and it's called Gorongosa National Park. I read this HB edition as a library check-out but plan on buying the Kindle edition for my private collection

Last Ranger
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on January 7, 2015
This was so much fun to read. I loved the images mixed with the text as I normally do not read picture books. Although I had never heard of Gorongosa till I held this book in my hands travel to this park is now on my bucket list.
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on June 9, 2014
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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