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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000

by David Quammen

With the inaugural volume of THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE AND NATURE WRITING, Houghton Mifflin showcases the finest writing of the past year on subjects of ever-increasing interest to readers. Guest editor David Quammen and series editor Burkhard Bilger have assembled a remarkable group of essays that originally appeared in periodicals from National Geographic, Science, and The New Yorker to Puerto del Sol and DoubleTake. Among the acclaimed writers represented are Natalie Angier on "Men, Women, Sex, and Darwin," Peter Matthiessen exploring "The Island at the End of the Earth," Richard Preston considering "The Demon in the Freezer," and Oliver Sacks remembering the "Brilliant Light" of his boyhood. Also including work by such literary lights as Anne Fadiman, Edward Hoagland, and Cullen Murphy, this volume presents selections bound together by their timelessness.

Blood Line: Stories of Fathers and Sons

by David Quammen

"Blood Line" explores the complicated liaisons between fathers and sons. Though using traditional masculine backdrops, the three stories in the collection go beyond a portrayal of physical and emotional endurance to evoke the blending of guilt, rebellion, patricide, and the transcending power of kinship that allow both father and son to place themselves in relationship to each other and in relation to the world.

The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder

by David Quammen

The author hailed by Edward O. Wilson as "a brilliant young star of nature writing" explores the relationship between humans and the natural world in a collection of essays culled from his popular "Outside" magazine column.

The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder

by David Quammen

In 1981 David Quammen began what might be every freelance writer's dream: a monthly column for Outside magazine in which he was given free rein to write about anything that interested him in the natural world. His column was called "Natural Acts," and for the next fifteen years he delighted Outside's readers with his fascinating ruminations on the world around us. The Boilerplate Rhino brings together twenty-six of Quammen's most thoughtful and engaging essays from that column, none previously printed in any of his earlier books.In lucid, penetrating, and often quirkily idiosyncratic prose, David Quammen takes his readers with him as he explores the world. His travels lead him to rattlesnake handlers in Texas; a lizard specialist in Baja; the dinosaur museum in Jordan, Montana; and halfway across Indonesia in search of the perfect Durian fruit. He ponders the history of nutmeg in the southern Moluccas, meditates on bioluminescent beetles while soaking in the waters of the Amazon, and delivers "The Dope on Eggs" from a chicken ranch near his hometown in Montana. Quammen's travels are always jumping-off points to explore the rich and sometimes horrifying tension between humankind and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold.

The Chimp and the River: How AIDS Emerged from an African Forest

by David Quammen

In this "frightening and fascinating masterpiece" (Walter Isaacson), David Quammen explores the true origins of HIV/AIDS. The real story of AIDS--how it originated with a virus in a chimpanzee, jumped to one human, and then infected more than 60 million people--is very different from what most of us think we know. Recent research has revealed dark surprises and yielded a radically new scenario of how AIDS began and spread. Excerpted and adapted from the book Spillover, with a new introduction by the author, Quammen's hair-raising investigation tracks the virus from chimp populations in the jungles of southeastern Cameroon to laboratories across the globe, as he unravels the mysteries of when, where, and under what circumstances such a consequential "spillover" can happen. An audacious search for answers amid more than a century of data, The Chimp and the River tells the haunting tale of one of the most devastating pandemics of our time.

Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus

by David Quammen

"A frightening and fascinating masterpiece of science reporting that reads like a detective story." --Walter Isaacson In 1976 a deadly virus emerged from the Congo forest. As swiftly as it came, it disappeared, leaving no trace. Over the four decades since, Ebola has emerged sporadically, each time to devastating effect. It can kill up to 90 percent of its victims. In between these outbreaks, it is untraceable, hiding deep in the jungle. The search is on to find Ebola's elusive host animal. And until we find it, Ebola will continue to strike. Acclaimed science writer and explorer David Quammen first came near the virus while he was traveling in the jungles of Gabon, accompanied by local men whose village had been devastated by a recent outbreak. Here he tells the story of Ebola--its past, present, and its unknowable future. Extracted from Spillover by David Quammen, updated and with additional material.

Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus

by David Quammen

In 1976 a deadly virus emerged from the Congo forest. As swiftly as it came, it disappeared, leaving no trace. Over the four decades since, Ebola has emerged sporadically, each time to devastating effect. It can kill up to 90 percent of its victims. In between these outbreaks, it is untraceable, hiding deep in the jungle. The search is on to find Ebola's elusive host animal. And until we find it, Ebola will continue to strike. Acclaimed science writer and explorer David Quammen first came near the virus while he was traveling in the jungles of Gabon, accompanied by local men whose village had been devastated by a recent outbreak. Here he tells the story of Ebola--its past, present, and its unknowable future. Extracted from Spillover by David Quammen, updated and with additional material.

The Flight of the Iguana

by David Quammen

From the award-winning author of The Song of the Dodo comes a collection of essays in which various weird and wonderful aspects of nature are examined. This book contains tales of vegetarian piranha fish, voiceless dogs, and a scientific search for the genes that threaten to destroy the cheetah.

The Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

by David Quammen

As he examines everything from species survival on islands to vegetarian piranhas, Quammen's funny and offbeat essays offer a unique glimpse of the natural world and, at the same time, clarify the larger biological issues and their effect on humankind.

The Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

by David Quammen

As he examines everything from species survival on islands to vegetarian piranhas, Quammen's funny and offbeat essays offer a unique glimpse of the natural world and, at the same time, clarify the larger biological issues and their effect on humankind.

Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

by David Quammen

Natural history and fiction writer Quammen explores the psychological, mythic, and spiritual dimensions of the relationship between one flesh-eating animal and one human victim. He believes that relationship has played a crucial role in shaping the way people construe their place in the natural world. His sojourn ranges from old literature such as "Beowulf" and "Gilgamesh", to the movie "Alien Resurrection".

Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

by David Quammen

"Rich detail and vivid anecdotes of adventure....A treasure trove of exotic fact and hard thinking."--The New York Times Book Review, front page For millennia, lions, tigers, and their man-eating kin have kept our dark, scary forests dark and scary, and their predatory majesty has been the stuff of folklore. But by the year 2150 big predators may only exist on the other side of glass barriers and chain-link fences. Their gradual disappearance is changing the very nature of our existence. We no longer occupy an intermediate position on the food chain; instead we survey it invulnerably from above--so far above that we are in danger of forgetting that we even belong to an ecosystem. Casting his expert eye over the rapidly diminishing areas of wilderness where predators still reign, the award-winning author of The Song of the Dodo examines the fate of lions in India's Gir forest, of saltwater crocodiles in northern Australia, of brown bears in the mountains of Romania, and of Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East. In the poignant and troublesome ferocity of these embattled creatures, we recognize something primeval deep within us, something in danger of vanishing forever.

Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

by David Quammen

A writer for National Geographic with a string of nature books to his credit, Quammen (Western American studies, Montana State U.) adds a new section to his 1985 collection of essays on critters, folks, and acts relating to the natural world and the scientific investigation of it. The seven recent essays look at such topics as planet of weeds, the post-communist wolf, and cloning your troubles away.

Notes from The Century Before

by Jon Krakauer David Quammen Edward Hoagland

In 1966, Edward Hoagland made a three-month excursion into the wild country of British Columbia and encountered a way of life that was disappearing even as he chronicled it. Showcasing Hoagland's extraordinary gifts for portraiture--his cast runs from salty prospector to trader, explorer, missionary, and indigenous guide--Notes from the Century Before is a breathtaking mix of anecdote, derring-do, and unparalleled elegy from one of the finest writers of our time.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution

by David Quammen

He did not found a movement or a religion says Montana-based writer of fiction and natural history Quammen, he never assembled a creed of scientific axioms and ascribed his name to them. He was in fact a reclusive biologist who wrote books on some minor and some major topics, made mistakes, and changed his mind. He admits that most of Darwin's writings relate to the unity of all life as reflected in the processes of evolution, but he had nothing to do with Darwinism and its scientific and religious controversies.

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (Great Discoveries)

by David Quammen

"Quammen brilliantly and powerfully re-creates the 19th century naturalist's intellectual and spiritual journey."--Los Angeles Times Book Review Twenty-one years passed between Charles Darwin's epiphany that "natural selection" formed the basis of evolution and the scientist's publication of On the Origin of Species. Why did Darwin delay, and what happened during the course of those two decades? The human drama and scientific basis of these years constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that elucidates the character of a cautious naturalist who initiated an intellectual revolution.

The Song of the Dodo

by David Quammen

David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope, far-reaching in its message -- a crucial book in precarious times, which radically alters the way in which we understand the natural world and our place in that world. It's also a book full of entertainment and wonders. In The Song of the Dodo, we follow Quammen's keen intellect through the ideas, theories, and experiments of prominent naturalists of the last two centuries. We trail after him as he travels the world, tracking the subject of island biogeography, which encompasses nothing less than the study of the origin and extinction of all species. Why is this island idea so important? Because islands are where species most commonly go extinct -- and because, as Quammen points out, we live in an age when all of Earth's landscapes are being chopped into island-like fragments by human activity. Through his eyes, we glimpse the nature of evolution and extinction, and in so doing come to understand the monumental diversity of our planet, and the importance of preserving its wild landscapes, animals, and plants. We also meet some fascinating human characters. By the book's end we are wiser, and more deeply concerned, but Quammen leaves us with a message of excitement and hope.

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

by David Quammen

David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope, far-reaching in its message -- a crucial book in precarious times, which radically alters the way in which we understand the natural world and our place in that world. It's also a book full of entertainment and wonders. In The Song of the Dodo, we follow Quammen's keen intellect through the ideas, theories, and experiments of prominent naturalists of the last two centuries. We trail after him as he travels the world, tracking the subject of island biogeography, which encompasses nothing less than the study of the origin and extinction of all species. Why is this island idea so important? Because islands are where species most commonly go extinct -- and because, as Quammen points out, we live in an age when all of Earth's landscapes are being chopped into island-like fragments by human activity. Through his eyes, we glimpse the nature of evolution and extinction, and in so doing come to understand the monumental diversity of our planet, and the importance of preserving its wild landscapes, animals, and plants. We also meet some fascinating human characters. By the book's end we are wiser, and more deeply concerned, but Quammen leaves us with a message of excitement and hope.

The Soul of Viktor Tronko

by David Quammen

Reporter Michael Kessler wasn't interested in a story about Soviet disinformation or moles that had lain dormant for twenty years - until the ex-CIA agent was brutally murdered right before he told Kessler the punch line: there was - or there wasn't - a Soviet mole still operating very high up in the agency. The key to the truth lay with 1960's KGB defector Viktor Tronko. But Kessler's questions wouldn't get answers. They'd have him running for his life through a shadow world of spies, where lies were nearly as deadly as... murder

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

by David Quammen

"Science writing as detective story at its best." --Jennifer Ouellette, Scientific American A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Scientific American Best Book of the Year, and a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Ebola, SARS, Hendra, AIDS, and countless other deadly viruses all have one thing in common: the bugs that transmit these diseases all originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. In this gripping account, David Quammen takes the reader along on this astonishing quest to learn how, where from, and why these diseases emerge and asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be?

The Voyage of the Beagle

by Charles Darwin David Quammen

When HMS Beagle sailed out of Devonport on 27 December 1831, Charles Darwin was twenty-two and setting off on the voyage of a lifetime. His journal, here reprinted in a shortened form, shows a naturalist making patient observations concerning geology, natural history, people, places and events. Volcanoes in the Galapagos, the Gossamer spider of Patagonia and the Australasian coral reefs - all are to be found in these extraordinary writings. The insights made here were to set in motion the intellectual currents that led to the most controversial book of the Victorian age: The Origin of Species. Includes introduction by David Quammen and notes.

Wild Thoughts from Wild Places

by David Quammen

In Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, award-winning journalist David Quammen reminds us why he has become one of our most beloved science and nature writers.This collection of twenty-three of Quammen's most intriguing, most exciting, most memorable pieces takes us to meet kayakers on the Futaleufu River of southern Chile, where Quammen describes how it feels to travel in fast company and flail for survival in the river's maw. We are introduced to the commerce in pearls (and black-market parrots) in the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia. Quammen even finds wildness in smog-choked Los Angeles -- embodied in an elusive population of urban coyotes, too stubborn and too clever to surrender to the sprawl of civilization.With humor and intelligence, David Quammen's Wild Thoughts from Wild Places also reminds us that humans are just one of the many species on earth with motivations, goals, quirks, and eccentricities. Expect to be entertained and moved on this journey through the wilds of science and nature.

The Zolta Configuration

by David Quammen

Quammen's second novel before he became a celebrated nature writer is a gripping nuclear espionage story.

Showing 1 through 23 of 23 results

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