The last time we mentioned him, it was upon discovering a new (to us) resource and today we realize we had not yet taken the opportunity to highlight this book which he published earlier this year. His interview in late May, seen here on the website of another foundation that bears his name, is worth watching to help decide whether this book is for you, or not.
The excellent NHBS, a UK-bsed website, has this to say:
A Window on Eternity is a stunning book of splendid prose and gorgeous photography about one of the biologically richest places in Africa and perhaps in the world. Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique was nearly destroyed in a brutal civil war, then was reborn and is now evolving back to its original state. Edward O. Wilson’s personal, luminous description of the wonders of Gorongosa is beautifully complemented by Piotr Naskrecki’s extraordinary photographs of the park’s exquisite natural beauty. A bonus DVD of Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu’s documentary, The Guide, is also included with A Window on Eternity…(continued after the jump)
…In A Window on Eternity Wilson takes readers to the summit of Mount Gorongosa, sacred to the local people and the park’s vital watershed. From the forests of the mountain he brings us to the deep gorges on the edge of the Rift Valley, previously unexplored by biologists, to search for new species and assess their ancient origins. He describes amazing animal encounters from huge colonies of agricultural termites to specialized raider ants that feed on them to giant spiders, a battle between an eagle and a black mamba, “conversations” with traumatized elephants that survived the slaughter of the park’s large animals, and more. He pleads for Gorongosa – and other wild places – to be allowed to exist and evolve in its time-less way uninterrupted into the future.
As he examines the near destruction and rebirth of Gorongosa, Wilson analyzes the balance of nature, which, he observes, teeters on a razor’s edge. Loss of even a single species can have serious ramifications throughout an ecosystem, and yet we are carelessly destroying complex biodiverse ecosystems with unknown consequences. The wildlands in which these ecosystems flourish gave birth to humanity, and it is this natural world, still evolving, that may outlast us and become our legacy, our window on eternity.
The Monitor reviewed the book back in April, and this week’s Science section of the New York Times provides their review:
By JONATHAN WEINER
Edward O. Wilson thinks we should set aside half the planet as wilderness, and he believes we can do it. In a new book, he tells the story of a nature preserve in Mozambique to make his case.