front cover of Act III in Patagonia
Act III in Patagonia
People and Wildlife
William Conway
Island Press, 2005

Patagonia. The name connotes the exotic and a distance that seems nearly mythical. Tucked toward the toe of South America, this largely unsettled landscape is among the most varied and breathtaking in the world-aching in its beauty as it sweeps from the Andes through broad, arid steppes to pristine beaches and down to a famously violent sea. It is also home to a vast array of rare wildlife as diverse and fascinating as the region itself.

Act III in Patagonia is the first book to take an in-depth look at wildlife and human interaction in this spectacular area of the world. Written by William Conway, former president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the book is unique in its concentration on the long Patagonian shoreline--populated by colorful cormorants, penguins, elephant seals, dolphins, sea lions, and numerous species of whale--and an increasing number of human beings.

Threatened by overfishing, invasive species, artificially abundant predators, and overgrazing, the Southern Cone of Patagonia is now the scene of a little-known conservation drama distinguished by the efforts of a dedicated group of local and foreign scientists determined to save one of the Earth's least-inhabited places. From tracking elephant seals in the Atlantic to following flamingos in the Andes, Act III in Patagonia takes readers to the sites where real-life field science is taking place. It further illuminates the ecology of the region through a history that reaches from the time of the Tehuelche Indians known by Magellan, Drake, and Darwin to the present.

Conway has helped to establish more than a dozen wildlife reserves in South America and is thus able not only to tell Patagonia's history, but to address its future. He brings a wealth of knowledge about Patagonia and its wildlife and responds to the difficult questions of how the interests of humans and wildlife are best balanced. He tells of the exciting collaborations among the Wildlife Conservation Society and its national and provincial partners to develop region-wide programs to save wildlife in steppes, coast, and sea, demonstrating that, with public support, there is hope for this stunning corner of the world. Though singular in their details, the conservation efforts Conway spotlights are a microcosm of what is happening in dozens of sites around the world.

[more]

front cover of Amazonia in the Anthropocene
Amazonia in the Anthropocene
People, Soils, Plants, Forests
By Nicholas C. Kawa
University of Texas Press, 2016

Widespread human alteration of the planet has led many scholars to claim that we have entered a new epoch in geological time: the Anthropocene, an age dominated by humanity. This ethnography is the first to directly engage the Anthropocene, tackling its problems and paradoxes from the vantage point of the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

Drawing from extensive ethnographic research, Nicholas Kawa examines how pre-Columbian Amerindians and contemporary rural Amazonians have shaped their environment, describing in vivid detail their use and management of the region’s soils, plants, and forests. At the same time, he highlights the ways in which the Amazonian environment resists human manipulation and control—a vital reminder in this time of perceived human dominance. Written in engaging, accessible prose, Amazonia in the Anthropocene offers an innovative contribution to debates about humanity’s place on the planet, encouraging deeper ecocentric thinking and a more inclusive vision of ecology for the future.

[more]

front cover of Ancient Plants and People
Ancient Plants and People
Contemporary Trends in Archaeobotany
Edited by Marco Madella, Carla Lancelotti, and Manon Savard
University of Arizona Press, 2014
Mangroves and rice, six-row brittle barley and einkorn wheat. Ancient crops for prehistoric people. What do they have in common? All tell us about the lives and cultures of long ago, as humans cultivated or collected these plants for food. Exploring these and other important plants used for millennia by humans, Ancient Plants and People presents a wide-angle view of the current state of archaeobotanical research, methods, and theories.

Food has both a public and a private role, and it permeates the life of all people in a society. Food choice, production, and distribution probably represent the most complex indicators of social life, and thus a study of foods consumed by ancient peoples reveals many clues about their lifestyles. But in addition to yielding information about food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption, plant remains recovered from archaeological sites offer precious insights on past landscapes, human adaptation to climate change, and the relationship between human groups and their environment. Revealing important aspects of past human societies, these plant-driven insights widen the spectrum of information available to archaeologists as we seek to understand our history as a biological and cultural species.

Often answers raise more questions. As a result, archaeobotanists are constantly pushed to reflect on the methodological and theoretical aspects of their discipline. The contributors discuss timely methodological issues and engage in debates on a wide range of topics from plant utilization by hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, to uses of ancient DNA. Ancient Plants and People provides a global perspective on archaeobotanical research, particularly on the sophisticated interplay between the use of plants and their social or environmental context.
[more]

front cover of Archaeologists in Print
Archaeologists in Print
Publishing for the People
Amara Thornton
University College London, 2018
Archaeologists in Print is a history of popular publishing in archaeology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a pivotal period of expansion and development in both archaeology and publishing. It examines how British archaeologists produced books and popular periodical articles for a nonscholarly audience and explores the rise in archaeologists’ public visibility. Notably, it analyzes women’s experiences in archaeology alongside better-known male contemporaries as shown in their books and archives. In the background of this narrative is the history of Britain’s imperial expansion and contraction, and the evolution of modern tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Archaeologists exploited these factors to gain public and financial support and interest, and build and maintain a reading public for their work, supported by the seasonal nature of excavation and tourism. Reinforcing these publishing activities through personal appearances in the lecture hall, exhibition space and site tour, and in new media—film, radio and television—archaeologists shaped public understanding of archaeology.

The image of the archaeologist as adventurous explorer of foreign lands, part spy, part foreigner, eternally alluring, solidified during this period. That legacy continues, undimmed, today.
[more]

logo for Pluto Press
Arms and the People
Popular Movements and the Military from the Paris Commune to the Arab Spring
Edited by Mike Gonzalez and Houman Barekat
Pluto Press, 2012
Looking at a range of global historical experiences, Arms and the People examines the relationship between mass movements and military institutions. Some argue that it is impossible to achieve and protect a revolution without the support of the army, but how can the support of the army be won?

Arms and the People explores the impact of profound social polarisation on the internal cohesion of the state’s ‘armed bodies of men’ and on the contested loyalties of soldiers. The different contributors examine a series of historical moments in which a crisis in the military institution has reflected a deeper social crisis which has penetrated that institution and threatened to disable it.

With a range of international contributors who have either studied or been directly involved in such social upheavals, Arms and the People is a pioneering contribution to the study of revolutionary change and will appeal to students and academics in history, politics and sociology.
[more]

front cover of Artists and the People
Artists and the People
Ideologies of Art in Indonesia
Elly Kent
National University of Singapore Press, 2022
Gets to the heart of what is unique about Indonesian art. 

Exploring the work of established and emerging artists in Indonesia’s vibrant art world, this book examines why so many artists in the world’s largest archipelagic nation choose to work directly with people in their art practices. While the social dimension of Indonesian art makes it distinctive in the globalized world of contemporary art, Elly Kent is the first to explore this engagement in Indonesian terms. What are the historical, political, and social conditions that lie beneath these polyvalent practices? How do formal and informal institutions, communities, and artist-run initiatives contribute to the practices and discourses behind socially engaged art in Indonesia? Drawing on interviews with artists, translations of archival material, visual analyses, and participation in artists’ projects, this book presents a unique, interdisciplinary examination of ideologies of art in Indonesia. 
 
[more]

front cover of Authentic Texas
Authentic Texas
People of the Big Bend
By Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and Bill Wright
University of Texas Press, 2013

Winner, Southwest Book Award, Border Regional Library Association, 2015

The Texas of vast open spaces inhabited by independent, self-reliant men and women may be more of a dream than a reality for the state’s largely urban population, but it still exists in the Big Bend. One of the most sparsely settled areas of the United States, the Big Bend attracts people who are willing to forego many modern conveniences for a lifestyle that proclaims “don’t fence me in.” Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and Bill Wright believe that the character traits exemplified by folks in the Big Bend—including self-sufficiency, friendliness, and neighborliness—go back to the founding of the state. In this book, they introduce us to several dozen Big Bend residents—old and young, long-settled and recently arrived, racially diverse—who show us what it means to be an authentic Texan.

Interviewing people in Marathon, Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, Redford, Presidio, Alpine, Marfa, Valentine, Balmorhea, Limpia Crossing, and Fort Davis, Daudistel and Wright discover the reasons why residents of the Big Bend make this remote area of Texas their permanent home. In talking to ranchers and writers, entrepreneurs and artists, people living off the grid and urban refugees, they find a common willingness to overcome difficulties through individual skill and initiative. As one interviewee remarks, you have to have a lot of “try” in you to make a life in the Big Bend. Bill Wright’s photographs of the people and landscapes are a perfect complement to the stories of these authentic Texans. Together, these voices and images offer the most complete, contemporary portrait of the Texas Big Bend.

[more]


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter