Footsteps in the Jungle by Jonathan Maslow
Adventures in the Scientific Exploration of American Tropics

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Jonathan Maslow here portrays thirteen scientists whom he calls “the luckiest men and women of all time”―the explorers who first mapped the tropical regions of the Americas and discovered the glorious biological orgy that is nature in the tropics. They were the first to color the chorus of tropical birds; the first to know the swiftness of the jaguar; the first to learn the loves of the orchid family and to collect the daunting variety of moths and butterflies and beetles; the first to run the rivers of the Amazon, to climb the Andes, and to dive the coral reefs of the Caribbean; and the first to unearth the ruins of America’s pre-Columbian civilizations. “They were and are,” Mr. Maslow writes, "the Indiana Joneses of science, plunging ahead often recklessly on the path to discovery―and emerging with fabulous tales of scientific antidote to the dismal late-twentieth-century image of bloodless scientists separated from nature." From Alexander von Humboldt to Daniel Janzen, Mr. Maslow invites you to tag along into the field as he follows the explorers on their voyages and expeditions, offering a companion guide to their discoveries and a context for their imaginative quests.

About Jonathan Maslow

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Jonathan Evan Maslow's works, both fiction and nonfiction, explore the beauty of nature and the effects of modern man on it. "Bird of Life, Bird of Death," for example, details two adventurers' search for a rare Guatemalan bird. They do not find the bird, but become increasing aware of, and outraged by, the effects that local politics have had on the people and the ecology.
Published October 1, 1996 by Ivan R. Dee. 319 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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both men are alive, still busy in the tropics, and Maslow was able to take the measure of the men in the flesh, asking those questions that would have been fun to put to Waterton or Hudson or Wallace (``So, Alfred, any thoughts on the notion that Mr. Darwin pinched your idea?'').

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Publishers Weekly

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Maslow (Torrid Zone) offers a collection of 13 superficial biographical sketches of individuals who have brought the American tropics alive for the rest of us.

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