The Indonesian archipelago is a land of timeless natural beauty that in the twenty-first century faces unprecedented environmental degradation. It was also the biological laboratory of Alfred Russel Wallace, who, working independently of Charles Darwin, discovered the theory of evolution by natural selection.Wallace, who traveled for eight years in the archipelago, was oneThe Indonesian archipelago is a land of timeless natural beauty that in the twenty-first century faces unprecedented environmental degradation. It was also the biological laboratory of Alfred Russel Wallace, who, working independently of Charles Darwin, discovered the theory of evolution by natural selection.Wallace, who traveled for eight years in the archipelago, was one of the greatest field naturalists and nature writers of his century. No one was more skilled in observing and describing living things. A prodigious collector, he was the first to bring living birds of paradise to the West. And he was a great thinker, a theorist as formidable as any on earth. This magnificent account of a true explorer sweeps from the time of Wallace's nineteenth-century discoveries in biogeography to the looming biodiversity crisis of the twenty-first century—from the exploration of natural wonders to the exploitation of natural resources. The result is a history that powerfully portrays the intricate connections of human life and natural life.This unique story, published by the University of California Press in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy, is resplendently presented with maps, archival materials, and more than 200 color photographs.A portion of the proceeds from this book will go toward conservation efforts in Indonesia...
|Title||:||Archipelago - The Islands of Indonesia: From the Nineteenth-Century Discoveries of Alfred Russel Wallace to the Fate of Forests and Reefs in the Twenty-First Century|
|Number of Pages||:||266 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Archipelago - The Islands of Indonesia: From the Nineteenth-Century Discoveries of Alfred Russel Wallace to the Fate of Forests and Reefs in the Twenty-First Century Reviews
Not bad. This book is mostly about Wallace and his journeys and discoveries, with only one chapter at the end about the "current" situation in Indonesia. I'm not a super huge fan of Wallace to be honest. For all that he contributed to science, he still was a white man traveling in the mid-1800s snatching up natural resources, killing rare animals for private collections, condescending to "savages" and according to this book, he even beat a captive wild gibbon he had because it bit him. Whenever I read something like this, I come across authors informing me that for his time and place, Wallace was comparatively tolerant and progressive towards the "savages." I understand that we are a product of our environment and context is important. However, I don't like any of the explorers who went around exploiting people, so why should Wallace be any different. He was interesting as an individual, but he was part of a system that I abhor. It's kind of like Thomas Jefferson being progressive but owning slaves. (Future generations are going to look at me and say "Even though Tippy was fairly progressive for her time, she still had an iPhone made in sweatshops, so she was part of a system that I abhor...")Also, while I love reading about conservation, I don't like being beat over the head with it and this book does that as well. Not much by way of subtleties, humor, options to improve the situation or success stories to break the doom and gloom. Still very interesting.
A great account of the esteemed naturalist's travels in the Indonesian islands, accompanied by beautiful photos of those remote places that are still somewhat off the beaten track even today (Aru islands, Ternate, Timor, Sulawesi to name a few). Essays on associated topics from a modern perspective, like orangs, birds of paradise, ecology of the islands, are also enlightening and succinctly written, adding to the enjoyment and depth of this coffee table book. Unfortunately, the last couple of chapters on Wallace's latter life and the current environmental problems of Indonesia seem somehow removed from the main subject of celebrating Wallace's epic journey of discovery, coming across as tedious and long-winded.
Gorgeous book that at first glance looks like your standard coffee table book, but beyond the stunning photos there is real substance. Archipelago describes the formation and natural history of the islands of Indonesia, paying particular attention to the unique flora and fauna found there. Alfred Russel Wallace's voyages among the islands in the 19th century are discussed. (Wallace simultaneously and independently came up with a theory of natural selection, but he's usually given short shrift) The latter part of the book deals with the devastating impact of the exploitation of the islands' natural resources. The book works on multiple levels, encompassing natural history, exploration, ecology, and earth science. It's a thrill for armchair travelers, too.
i cannot love this book enough. if i read this back in high school, if all high school biology books are like this... i see myself becoming a biologist, albeit one who will still be afraid of cockroaches. it's a wonderful book with a wonderful story, wonderful pictures... brought me to tears. lurve.