Monster of God by David Quammen
The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

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Synopsis

"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.
 

About David Quammen

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David Quammen is the author of The Song of the Dodo, among other books. He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is the recipient of a John Burroughs Medal and the National Magazine Award. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
 
Published September 17, 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company. 528 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Big, fierce beasts have haunted the human mind since time’s beginning, writes natural historian Quammen (The Boilerplate Rhino, 2000, etc.), and the relationship between predatory mammals and their human prey “has played a crucial role in shaping the way we humans construe our place in the natura...

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Equally resonant are his arguments for why these particular animals excite such fear and fascination in us, and how we will suffer in terms practical and profound if they are eliminated completely from their habitats and confined to zoos and human memory.

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