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In Search of Nature Paperback – 15 Jan 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press (15 Jan. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155963216X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559632164
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,283,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor and curator of entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

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SCIENCE AND THE HUMANities, biology and culture, are bridged in a dramatic manner by the phenomenon of the serpent. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich Ham on 10 July 2006
Format: Paperback
Edward O. Wilson is, for my money, the finest nature writer since Gilbert White of Selborne. His extraordinary invocations of the lives of ants, worms, sharks and snakes - some of the most feared and reviled creatures on earth - cut across the cultural meanings that have attached themselves over the course of human history, and show us why we should continue to pay attention to such animals, and especially to their increasingly threatened habitats. At times Wilson gets so close to his subjects that he seems more like an anthropologist than a biologist, but it's this closeness that has yielded the insights that make his writing so compelling. Anyone who enjoys this would also enjoy his wonderfully written memoir, Naturalist.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rich Ham on 13 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Edward O. Wilson is, for my money, the finest nature writer since Gilbert White of Selborne. His extraordinary invocations of the lives of ants, worms, sharks and snakes - some of the most feared and reviled creatures on earth - cut across the cultural meanings that have attached themselves over the course of human history, and show us why we should continue to pay attention to such animals, and especially to their increasingly threatened habitats. At times Wilson gets so close to his subjects that he seems more like an anthropologist than a biologist, but it's this closeness that has yielded the insights that make his writing so compelling. Anyone who enjoys this would also enjoy his wonderfully written memoir, Naturalist
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rich Ham on 13 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Edward O. Wilson is, for my money, the finest nature writer since Gilbert White of Selborne. His extraordinary invocations of the lives of ants, worms, sharks and snakes - some of the most feared and reviled creatures on earth - cut across the cultural meanings that have attached themselves over the course of human history, and show us why we should continue to pay attention to such animals, and especially to their increasingly threatened habitats. At times Wilson gets so close to his subjects that he seems more like an anthropologist than a biologist, but it's this closeness that has yielded the insights that make his writing so compelling. Anyone who enjoys this would also enjoy his wonderfully written memoir, Naturalist
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Stimulative reading 28 Aug. 2002
By Luc REYNAERT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is not as provocative as 'On human nature'. The writing is not as combative, although it has many of the same themes :
- human aggression (he does not agree with Konrad Lorenz - even aggression evolves rapidly - and Erich Fromm - humanity is not suicidal -)
- the fallacy of ethics (human nature is to a large extent the heritage of a Pleistocene hunter-gatherer existance)
- the place of mankind in Gaia (the totality of Life on Earth). He argues clearly that if human beings were to disappear, the world would go on little changed and would heal itself from the damage inflicted by mankind. The only necessary animals,for Gaia and also for the human species, are the invertebrates.
Perhaps the most controversial point of the book are his arguments in defence of racial differences in the human populations, based on genetic components. But as always with E. O. Wilson, his argumentation is based on solid research and clear thinking.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An EXCELLENT read..... 21 Jun. 2002
By Dr. Leslie Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The author has a very easy to read style. It is very succinct and eloquent. If you love nature, you will love this book.
The chapter "In the company of ants" is probably one of the best chapters [of any book] that I have ever read. I found the hierarchal structure of the leaf-cutter ants very intriguing. What marvellous little creatures! I'll never look at an ant the same way again. Here's a little snippet for you:
"Watch where you step. Be careful of little lives. Feed them crumbs of coffeecake. They also like bits of tuna and whipped cream. Get a magnifying glass. Watch them closely. And you will be as close as any person may ever come to seeing social life as it might evolve on another planet."
I also loved three other chapters entitled, "Humanity seen from a distance", "The little things that run the world" and the final chapter, "Is humanity suicidal?". Other interesting chapters are about snakes, or rather serpents, sharks, altruism & aggression, etc. The essence of the book is really as the title suggests, "in search of nature".
Towards the end, a sincere and legitimate message is delivered by the author. It is a very moving assertion and everyone, yes everyone, should read it. Edwin O. Wilson is proof that Carl Sagan wasn't the only good author.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
excellent in every way 19 Feb. 2004
By Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Among all of E.O. Wilson's spectacular books, this one is one of my favorites - not just for the substantial content - but for one of the best cover-designed and illustrated books I have ever seen.
Everything about this book is top notch and all who were involved should be applauded.
This book is an enduring collection of ideas expressed with lucidity and wisdom.
Bravo.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent essays 22 Nov. 2003
By merrymousies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to E.O. Wilson when I went on a butterfly count a few years ago. As we were looking for butterflies and counting what we saw, the count leader (who is an incredibly smart naturalist) made a passing refernce to E.O. Wilson. That day I came home and got onto Amazon to find out more. This was the first book I came across and I'm so glad I did. It is filled with about 12 essays on different topics in nature. They're broken down into three groups:
Animal Nature, Human Nature (In the Company of Ants is one of these)
The Patterns of Nature (The Bird of Paradise: Hunter and Poet is one of these)
Nature's Abundance (The Little things that run the world is one of these)
The writing style is easy to read, fun, interesting - I learned a lot reading the essays but also just found the reading fun. I love how Wilson pulls back the stories to ideas/concepts that are relevant to us so we can put things in perspective. Great book! Any nature lover would enjoy it
Wilson is incomparable. 3 Nov. 2013
By Bill Dalton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Terrific collection of essays about nature as only Wilson was able to write them. His bestseller about ants, written appx. 23 years ago is quite expensive, One of his essays is about that subject, and, although it lacks the detail of the larger book, it is terrific. All the essays are good or excellent.
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