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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great English Eccentric, 23 July 2003
This review is from: Jolly Green Giant (Hardcover)
David Bellamy is one of the great English eccentrics. As a television performer, he invites comparison with other eccentrics such as Patrick Moore, Magnus Pyke, and Lionel Fanthorpe, all of whom have popularised their particular fields of study for a mass audience. In this autobiography he provides a fascinating account of his varied career as botanist, environmentalist, and media performer. There is a detailed - tbough sometimes bewildering - description of the various environmental causes that he has supported during his long career. There is an equally interesting account of the author's large, multi-racial, adopted family. I was, personally, very interested in Bellamy's account of his early religious upbringing in a Baptist family and church. In this environment he aspired to - but never quite achieved - the same kind of "Damascus Road" experience that others described. His later discovery of botany, however, seems to have played a similar role as a turning point in his life. Nowadays, Bellamy still describes himself as a Christian. There is a fascinating transcript of a millennium sermon that he gave at Southwark Cathedral, though I think that he assumes too readily that a desire to convert others to a particular religious viewpoint can only be understood in terms of a wish to dominate and exercise power over others. As someone who enjoyed using the I-SPY books back in the 1950s and 1960s, I appreciated Bellamy's account of his own early experience of I-SPY and his later stint in the 1980s as "Chief I-SPY", charged with updating the books for a new generation. All in all, "Jolly Green Giant" is an entertaining and informative biography and the author has much to teach us on environmental and conservation issues.
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Location: Ilford, Essex United Kingdom

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