Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

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W. W. Norton & Company, Mar 30, 2009 - Science - 352 pages
2 Reviews

"David Quammen is simply the best natural essayist working today."--Tim Cahill, author of Lost in My Own Backyard

"Lively writing about science and nature depends less on the offering of good answers, I think, than on the offering of good questions," said David Quammen in the original introduction to Natural Acts. For more than two decades, he has stuck to that credo. In this updated version of curiosity leads him from New Mexico to Romania, from the Congo to the Amazon, asking questions about mosquitoes (what are their redeeming merits?), dinosaurs (how did they change the life of a dyslexic Vietnam vet?), and cloning (can it save endangered species?).

This revised and expanded edition best-loved "Natural Acts" columns, which first appeared in Outside magazine in the early 1980s, and includes recent pieces such as "Planet of Weeds," an influential new Natural Acts is an eye-opening journey that will please both Quammen fans and newcomers to his work.

Song lyrics have been redacted from this ebook owing to permissions issues.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

This author has a style that, at his best, is a cross between Stephen J. Gould and Edward Abbey. The problem is, while the book started out very promising, with the most enjoyable writing I've read ... Read full review

Natural acts: a sidelong view of science & nature

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Quammen's writing style is so delightful that his content could almost be secondary. Happily, the author (most recently of The Reluctant Mr. Darwin) and his subjects are equally engaging: from a light ... Read full review

Contents

Learning
7
Sympathy for the Devil 1981
21
The Troubled Gaze of the Octopus 1984
37
Wool of Bat 1982
54
The Lives of Eugène Marais 1981
72
Animal Rights and Beyond 1984
85
Loves Martyrs 1983
105
Desert Sanitaire 1983
123
Planet of Weeds 1998
161
The River Jumps Over the Mountain 2002
189
The PostCommunist Wolf 2000
209
The Megatransect 20002001
228
A Passion for Order 2007
279
Clone Your Troubles Away 2005
296
Authors Note
321
Index
339

Jeremy Bentham the Pietà and a Precious
130
Yin and Yang in the Tularosa Basin 1985
144

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About the author (2009)

David Quammen is the author of The Song of the Dodo, among other books. He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is the recipient of a John Burroughs Medal and the National Magazine Award. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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