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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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3 Burnside - Bldg. 2 Oceanography- General

The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World

by

The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“An electrifying, many-faceted masterwork.”—Booklist

The beloved explorer Jacques Cousteau witnessed firsthand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and undersea—and watched the toll taken by human activity in the twentieth century. In this magnificent last book, now available for the first time in the United States, Cousteau describes his deeply informed philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving gripping stories of his adventures throughout, he and coauthor Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the worlds oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith. This prescient, clear-sighted book is a remarkable testament to the life and work of one of our greatest modern adventurers.

Jacques Cousteau (1910–1997) was world renowned as an ocean explorer, filmmaker, educator, and environmental activist. He won three Oscars and the Palme dOr for his films, was nominated for forty Emmys during the run of his TV series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, and wrote or coauthored more than seventy-five books, including The Silent World, which has sold five million copies in twenty two languages. As director of the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco and a member of the advisory committee of the IAEA, he was active in the conservation and anti-nuclear-proliferation movements.
 
Susan Schiefelbein has won the National Magazine Award and the Front Page Award for her cover stories on social issues. A former editor at the Saturday Review, where she first worked with Cousteau, she went on to write the narration for many of his documentary films, including winners of the Peabody and the Ace. She lives in Paris.
Explorer, diving pioneer, filmmaker, inventor, and activist, Jacques Cousteau was blessed from his childhood with boundless curiosity about the natural world. As the leader of fascinating, often dangerous expeditions all over the planet, he discovered firsthand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and undersea—and watched the toll taken by human activity in the twentieth century.

In what would be his final book, Cousteau describes his deeply informed philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving stories of his adventures throughout, he and co-author Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the worlds oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith. Cousteaus call to action to protect our earth and seas and their myriad life forms is even more relevant today than when this book was completed in 1996. Written over the last ten years of his life with frequent collaborator Schiefelbein, who also introduces the text and provides an update on environmental developments in the decade since Cousteaus death, this prescient, clear-sighted book is a timely, remarkable testament to the life and work of one of our greatest modern adventurers.

“Cousteau consecrated his life to teaching the world about marvels that are at once exotic to us and yet ordinary in the abyss of the ocean. Through his lyrical writings and his films that took your breath away, he placed the underwater world at the door of an audience as extensive as the oceans themselves. I always learned with him.”—Al Gore 
“Cousteau consecrated his life to teaching the world about marvels that are at once exotic to us and yet ordinary in the abyss of the ocean. Through his lyrical writings and his films that took your breath away, he placed the underwater world at the door of an audience as extensive as the oceans themselves. I always learned with him.”—Al Gore 

“As this rich new book reminds us, Cousteau was utterly trustworthy, a figure, like Rachel Carson, moved by no desire deeper than to appreciate the world around, to share that love, and thus to protect it. He was the quintessential explorer . . . Cousteau divided his career between two tasks, equally necessary: getting people to marvel at the beauty of the oceans, and then pointing out how we were destroying them. It was as if the earliest explorer of the North American continent was simultaneously cataloguing its vast buffalo herds and watching them die . . . No explorer has ever been faced with quite such a dilemma, and Cousteau handled it superbly.”—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and The End of Nature, from the foreword

 
"From Oscar-winning explorer-filmmaker Cousteau, a final bouquet for the planet he loved . . . [Cousteau] makes an eloquent case for conserving our natural world in these 11 essays, completed before his death . . . Following a foreword by Bill McKibben, the collection opens with a meditation on the instinctive human drive to explore and then considers aspects of the need to protect 'the last remaining unexplored expanse of earth—underwater,' which first attracted the author as a young midshipman on a world tour in the 1930s. In each instance, Cousteau draws on experiences and observations from his career: He examines personal risk-taking, recalling the moment in 1952 (the underwater death of a young man diving from Cousteau's ship Calypso off Marseilles) when he learned to dare without danger by minimizing risks to crews; and the day at a 1959 conference of atomic scientists held in Monaco's Oceanographic Institute (where Cousteau was director) when he heard talk about using the sea as a radioactive waste dump that prompted his lifelong protests over nuclear issues. ('Stick to steering boats!' said his critics.) Elsewhere, he urges action against overfishing, unchecked coastal development and corner-cutting by commercial interests that results in threats to public health and the environment. The author proves a trusted, familiar and knowledgeable voice as he draws on explorations in the Amazon, Antarctica, the underwater caves of the Caribbean and elsewhere to express his concern for humankind's future. 'We are part of Earth,' he declares in explaining why we must conserve. Long-time collaborator Schiefelbein provides a useful introduction as well as an update on facts and trends since the book's completion ten years ago."—Kirkus Reviews

"Originally published in French in 1997 as L'homme, la pieuvre et l'orchidée . . . this is a comprehensive presentation of the conservation and preservation philosophy that inspired Cousteau to become an activist for the oceans and the earth during his lifetime. Although not by any means a biography, the book contains numerous anecdotes and an extensive introduction by coauthor and longtime Cousteau collaborator Schiefelbein that is primarily biographical. The prose is eloquent and at times almost poetical, especially in the eponymous final chapter. This worthwhile look back at the French scientist who taught us to love scuba diving and the ocean raises questions still highly relevant ten years later. Recommended for all libraries at the high school level and above."—Margaret Rioux, Library Journal

 
"Written by renowned ocean explorer Cousteau in the 10 years before his death, this book strikes a note of caution as it celebrates the natural world: as the seas are plundered, the biosphere is polluted and the hazards of nuclear power are imposed upon nature, the human race is 'unraveling complexities it took eternity to create.' As a scientist and an explorer, Cousteau laments the government's use of science as a handmaiden to profit, reproaching technocrats and military and industrial leaders who, in pursuit of power and money, make decisions and leave the rest of the world, and its ecosystems, to live with their mistakes. An informative introduction and epilogue by Schiefelbein, a former editor at the Saturday Review, updates this account with developments since Cousteau's death, including the continuing depletion of the oceans and the persistent shift of funds from scientific research to economic 'priorities.' Cousteau's reverence for life's miracles—embodied by the evolutionary wonders of the human, the orchid and the octopus—shines through in this eloquent testimony on the importance of pursuing higher ideals, particularly the preservation of the oceans and the natural world for future generations."—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Part adventure story, part manifesto, this prescient, clear-sighted book, available for the first time in the United States, is a remarkable testament to the life and work of one of our greatest modern adventurers.

Synopsis:

“An electrifying, many-faceted masterwork.”—Booklist

The beloved explorer Jacques Cousteau witnessed firsthand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and undersea—and watched the toll taken by human activity in the twentieth century. In this magnificent last book, now available for the first time in the United States, Cousteau describes his deeply informed philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving gripping stories of his adventures throughout, he and coauthor Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the worlds oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith. This prescient, clear-sighted book is a remarkable testament to the life and work of one of our greatest modern adventurers.

About the Author

Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) was world-renowned as an ocean explorer, filmmaker, educator, and environmental activist. He won three Oscars and the Palme dOr for his films, and wrote or coauthored more than seventy-five books. Susan Schiefelbein has won the National Magazine Award and the Front Page Award for her cover stories on social issues. A former editor at the Saturday Review, she went on to write the narration for many of Cousteaus documentary films. She lives in Paris.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596914186
Subtitle:
Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World
Author:
Cousteau, Jacques
Introduction by:
McKibben, Bill
Introduction:
McKibben, Bill
Author:
Schiefelbein, Susan
Author:
McKibben, Bill
Author:
Cousteau, Jacques Yves
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Wildlife
Subject:
Nature
Subject:
Nature conservation
Subject:
Cousteau, Jacques Yves
Subject:
Environmental Conservation
Subject:
Protection
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20080930
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.31 x 5.53 x 0.875 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Science and Technology
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Oceanography » General

The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Press - English 9781596914186 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Part adventure story, part manifesto, this prescient, clear-sighted book, available for the first time in the United States, is a remarkable testament to the life and work of one of our greatest modern adventurers.
"Synopsis" by ,

“An electrifying, many-faceted masterwork.”—Booklist

The beloved explorer Jacques Cousteau witnessed firsthand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and undersea—and watched the toll taken by human activity in the twentieth century. In this magnificent last book, now available for the first time in the United States, Cousteau describes his deeply informed philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving gripping stories of his adventures throughout, he and coauthor Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the worlds oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith. This prescient, clear-sighted book is a remarkable testament to the life and work of one of our greatest modern adventurers.

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