The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples

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9780141026930: The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples

"The Eternal Frontier" leads the reader on a 65-million-year quest to understand the formation of North America. From the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period to the present day, Flannery explores America's history with keen insight and an extraordinary breadth of knowledge. Ultimately, human beings had to face the environmental vicissitudes of the continent, and Flannery's exploration of the ways in which we have coped makes for fascinating reading.

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Review:

In The Eternal Frontier Tim Flannery leads the reader on a 65 million-year quest to understand North America. From the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period to the ecological havoc now being wrought upon the continent by Homo sapiens, Flannery explores America's history with keen insight and an extraordinary breadth of knowledge that encompasses the fields of palaeontology, geology, geography, ecology, anthropology and history. Along the way we learn about the extreme climatic changes that have affected the land over the last 65 million years and the adaptive responses of America's vegetation and wildlife. Ultimately, human beings had to face the environmental vicissitudes of the continent, and Flannery's exploration of the ways in which we have coped makes for fascinating, if sometimes depressing, reading.

The deep history of America is particularly interesting from an ecological point of view because the region seems always to have acted as a haven for migrants--human or otherwise. As such many parallels can be drawn between the continent's distant past and its recent history of human occupation. Here Flannery is very good, sensibly exploring the links between ancient and modern America without ever overplaying his hand.

Although specialists will gasp at the way Flannery flings himself across subject matter that would fill the best part of a public library, I suspect most of them will applaud his audacity and praise the final result.--Chris Lavers

Review:

`No one before Flannery... has been brave enough to tackle the whole
pageant of North America... to explain America, in the largest sense' -- The New York Times

`A thrilling, beautifully written story' -- Jared Diamond

`Flannery makes 65 million years pass in the blink of an eye...written
intelligently, gracefully and thoughtfully, full of useful...astonishing
information' -- The Times

`Riveting...a masterpiece.. The Eternal Frontier is nature poetry' -- Sunday Telegraph

`Splendid... Tim Flannery is the real thing: a man with a gift for
lucid exposition, who can really make his subject come alive'
-- Literary Review Literary Review

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