SONG OF THE DODO by David Quammen
Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

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Synopsis

David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a
brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope,
far-reaching in its message -- a crucial book in
precarious times, which radically alters the way in
which we understand the natural world and our place
in that world. It's also a book full of entertainment
and wonders.

In The Song of the Dodo, we follow Quammen's keen
intellect through the ideas, theories, and experiments
of prominent naturalists of the last two centuries.
We trail after him as he travels the world,
tracking the subject of island biogeography, which
encompasses nothing less than the study of the origin
and extinction of all species. Why is this island
idea so important? Because islands are where
species most commonly go extinct -- and because, as
Quammen points out, we live in an age when all of
Earth's landscapes are being chopped into island-like
fragments by human activity.

Through his eyes, we glimpse the nature of evolution
and extinction, and in so doing come to understand
the monumental diversity of our planet, and
the importance of preserving its wild landscapes,
animals, and plants. We also meet some fascinating
human characters. By the book's end we are wiser,
and more deeply concerned, but Quammen
leaves us with a message of excitement and hope.
 

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 March 15, 2011 by Scribner. 704 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for SONG OF THE DODO

Kirkus Reviews

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Everything you might want to know about life and death on islands here, there, and everywhere on the globe can be found in Quammen's study of island biogeography.

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Publishers Weekly

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Quammen (Natural Acts) has successfully mixed genres in this highly impressive and thoroughly enjoyable work. The scientific journalism is first-rate, with the extremely technical field of island biog

Apr 01 1996 | Read Full Review of SONG OF THE DODO: Island Biog...

Publishers Weekly

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From his extended historical analysis of the journeys and insights of 19th-century biologist Alfred Russell Wallace to his field and laboratory interviews with many of the men and women who have followed in Wallace's intellectual wake, Quammen delightfully adds the human dimension to his discussi...

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Smithsonian

They censused the insects on minute mangrove islands, then had a professional exterminator from Miami wrap the islands in canvas a la Christo and fumigate them.

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