Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new look at my garden, July 17, 2002
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This review is from: A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines: The Growing Threat Of Species Invasions (A Shearwater Book) (Hardcover)
Every now and then I take a look at my garden - does my passion vine do well?, are my ferns lush and green?, and so on. After reading this book, I'm still looking at my garden, but in a different way. Is that vine a potential invader? That knotweed overthere, is it causing trouble somewhere else where it invades the natural area? Are there potential killer weeds in my garden??
Baskin's book changed my view, not a minor achievement. The reason is simple: A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines is an excellent read, informative and well written! It's about biological invasions in a broad sense, from crop pests and foreign diseases to ecological catastrophs caused by alien wildlife. Writing about such a topic has the danger of monotony, and endless lament on past and lost paradise. But Baskin skillfully knows to circumvent such a negative approach. Although the first chapters sketch a grim picture of the havoc caused by alien invasions, the book than continues by describing what current measures must turn the tide. Quarantain at borders and airports are an essential ingredient of fighting invasions. Though often a nuisance to naive passengers, these measures are much more understandable to me now I've read this book. There are also some succes stories about invasions that have been combatted and nearly or completely defeated.
Rats and Rubbervines does not give an exhaustive overview of all invasions - there are simply to many to do this. But more importantly, such an approach would be of little interest. Instead, Baskin offers the reader insight in the underlying causes of invasions, and the economic aspects involved. After reading Rats and Rubbervines, you have a reasonably balanced overview of this important topic.
There is one minor drawback: readers not familiar with common names of the plants and animals involved would love to see a line drawing or picture of the organisms, but apart from a small number of photographs illustrations are lacking. An idea for a second edition? The book certainly deserves that!
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Location: netherlands

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