The Way of the Panda by Henry Nicholls
The Curious History of China's Political Animal

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



Learn how the extraordinary impact of the panda—from obscurity to fame—is also the story of China's transition from shy beginnings to center stage.

Giant pandas have been causing a stir ever since their formal scientific discovery just over 140 years ago. For almost a century they defied classification; they outwitted hunters and escaped trappers, left the public elbowing and zoo turnstiles spinning, were sent on diplomatic journeys, branded onto products and turned into company logos. Thanks to the World Wide Fund for Nature this species became the face of global conservation. Yet in spite of humankind’s evident obsession with the giant panda, it is only in the last few decades that scientific research has begun to show us what this mysterious, frequently misunderstood creature is really like.

Henry Nicholls uses the rich and curious history of the giant panda to do several things: to ponder our changing attitudes towards the natural world; to offer a compelling history of the conservation movement; and to chart the rise of modern China on its journey to become the self-sufficient, twenty-first-century superpower it is today. 16 pages of full-color photographs

About Henry Nicholls

See more books from this Author
Henry Nicholls writes regularly for Nature, New Scientist and BBC Focus as well as the science journals Endeavor and Galapagos News. His first book, Lonesome George, told the story of the last giant tortoise of Pinta in the Galapagos and was shortlisted for the 2007 Royal Society General Book Prize. Henry lives in London.
Published January 1, 2010 by Profile Books. 224 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Way of the Panda

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Nicholls provides a deeper, more meaningful understanding of “real wild pandas” and why their continued existence matters, not for our amusement but so that we can come to understand their “undeniable mystery.” He also writes that “[t]he conservation of wild pandas has also become a test of ourse...

| Read Full Review of The Way of the Panda: The Cur...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

It is one of the more startling revelations in Henry Nicholls's sprightly history that we still have no idea how many giant pandas there are currently living in the wild.

Nov 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Way of the Panda: The Cur...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

From the panda's Western "discovery" in 1869 by the Catholic missionary and naturalist Armand David to current conservation efforts in the mountainous Sichuan province and in zoos worldwide, Nicholls examines the notion of the panda as "charismatic megafauna," science-speak for an animal so appea...

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Way of the Panda: The Cur...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

As of this writing, "Kung Fu Panda 2" is playing in theaters everywhere, and Washington, D.C., is consumed with anxiety about the possible pregnancy of Mei Xiang, the periodically artificially inseminated panda at the National Zoological Park—even after the heartbreak of having her previous cub r...

Jul 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Way of the Panda: The Cur...

Christian Science Monitor

Considering their famous resistance to mating in captivity, it may seem like pandas aren't much into adoring each other.

Aug 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Way of the Panda: The Cur...

The Bookbag

Yes Pages: 224 Date: September 2010 Publisher: Profile Books ISBN: 978-1846683688 The book cover alone, with its panda hugging a tree, says 'buy me', 'read me.' A good start.

Sep 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Way of the Panda: The Cur...

Rate this book!

Add Review