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The Wasting of Borneo: Dispatches from a Vanishing World
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Alex Shoumatoff
The Wasting of Borneo: Dispatches from a Vanishing World by Alex Shoumatoff at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Wasting of Borneo: Dispatches from a Vanishing World

Alex Shoumatoff


Beacon Press

The natural world, country life & pets


224 pages

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Acclaimed naturalist Alex Shoumatoff issues a worldwide call to protect the drastically endangered rainforests of Borneo In his eleventh book, but his first in almost two decades, seasoned travel writer Alex Shoumatoff takes readers on a journey from the woods of rural New York to the rain forests of the Amazon and Borneo, documenting both the abundance of life and the threats to these vanishing Edens in a wide-ranging narrative.

Alex and his best friend, Davie, spent their formative years in the forest of Bedford, New York. As adults they grew apart, but bonded by the imaginary jungle of their childhood, Alex and Davie reunited fifty years later for a trip to a real jungle, in the heart of Borneo. During the intervening years, Alex had become an author and literary journalist, traveling the world to bring to light places, animals, and indigenous cultures in peril. The two reconnect and spend three weeks together on Borneo, one of the most imperiled ecosystems on earth. Insatiable demand for the palm oil ubiquitous in consumer goods is wiping out the world's most ancient and species-rich rain forest, home to the orangutan and countless other life-forms, including the Penan people, with whom Alex and Davie camp. The Penan have been living in Borneo's rain forest for millennia, but 90 percent of the lowland rain forest has already been logged and burned to make way for vast oil-palm plantations. Among the most endangered tribal people on earth, the Penan are fighting for their right to exist.

Shoumatoff condenses a lifetime of learning about what binds humans to animals, nature, and each other, culminating in a celebration of the Penan and a call for Westerners to address the palm-oil crisis and protect the biodiversity that sustains us all.

By:   Alex Shoumatoff
Imprint:   Beacon Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 159mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   424g
ISBN:   9780807078242
ISBN 10:   0807078247
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   September 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Alex Shoumatoff has been a staff writer for the New Yorker, and a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Outside, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Esquire, and Onearth, and he has written more than 120 long magazine pieces. His previous books include The Mountain of Names, In Southern Light: Trekking Through Zaire and the Amazon, African Madness, and The World Is Burning. In 2001 he founded to raise consciousness about the planet's fast-disappearing biocultural diversity.

<b>Praise for Alex Shoumatoff</b> Shoumatoff is a genuine citizen of the world, at home with people everywhere, and his example serves as an inspiration to all who cherish the ties that unite humankind...In my opinion, he ranks among the very best nature writers of our or any other time. Timothy Ferris Like a Graham Greene character, Alex Shoumatoff seems drawn to hot, bug-ridden places, tropical backwaters of the third world, where the superficial comforts and rules of the West do not apply...His writing combines a naturalist s precision with a journalist s chatty command of facts. Michiko Kakutani, <i>New York Times</i> <b>Praise for <i>The Wasting of Borneo</i></b> Like all major authors, Shoumatoff s eloquent narrative is informed by the seminal landscapes that have shaped his life, the perspectives from which his engaging encounters with the natural world are revealed. <i>The Wasting of Borneo</i> affirms what occurs when humanity because of its lethal consumerism abandons its loving connection to and reverence for that which sustains it, a subject forcefully conveyed as the fragile voice of the natural world dashes toward an eerie silence. Bernie Krause, PhD Shoumatoff s book will make you experience both animals and nature with all your senses. Smell and sound may be more important than vision. Perceive animals in a new way. Temple Grandin, author of <i>Animals in Translation</i> and <i>Thinking in Pictures</i> Alex Shoumatoff is a pure gonzo naturalist, the love child of Bruce Chatwin and Hunter Thompson. <i>The Wasting of Borneo</i> is an important book about human greed, climate change, and animism (among many other serious matters), and a head-spinning trip to the furthest reaches of the known world. Russell Banks

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