Synopses & Reviews
To be an environmentalist early in the twenty-first century is always to be defending, arguing, acknowledging the hurdles we face in our efforts to protect wild places and fight climate change. But lets be honest: hedging has never inspired anyone.
So what if we stopped hedging? What if we grounded our efforts to solve environmental problems in hope instead, and let nature make our case for us? Thats what George Monbiot does in Feral, a lyrical, unabashedly romantic vision of how, by inviting nature back into our lives, we can simultaneously cure our ecological boredom” and begin repairing centuries of environmental damage. Monbiot takes readers on an enchanting journey around the world to explore ecosystems that have been rewilded”: freed from human intervention and allowedin some cases for the first time in millenniato resume their natural ecological processes. We share his awe, and wonder, as he kayaks among dolphins and seabirds off the coast of Wales and wanders the forests of Eastern Europe, where lynx and wolf packs are reclaiming their ancient hunting grounds. Through his eyes, we see environmental successand begin to envision a future world where humans and nature are no longer separate and antagonistic, but are together part of a single, healing world.
Monbiots commitment is fierce, his passion infectious, his writing compelling. Readers willing to leave the confines of civilization and join him on his bewitching journey will emerge changedand ready to change our world for the better.
"With this book, Fraser does for rewilding what David Quammen did for island biogeography in his seminal The Song of the Dodo
. Fraser uses lucid prose, engaging stories and personal experience to make the ideas accessible and vital to a wide audience. This is no dreary rehearsal of past eco-errors and present concerns. Fraser takes us far beyond San Diego, straight into the lives of African elephants, Australian lizards and a Russian bear that intruded upon the Olympic Games, sitting on the sidewalk while languidly consuming a young girl's pet rabbit. 'We are so close,' Fraser says, and we require just a strong nudge in imagination and social engagement to make the rewilding dream real. With this lovely, necessary book, we step closer to that ideal."—The Los Angeles Times
"A call to retrofit more than a century of nature conservation in the United States and around the world . . . Fraser plows straight furrows through the ideological minefields of conservation politics."—The New York Review of Books
"A thoughtful examination of rewilding and its discontents. . . an important book."—The New York Times
"This is a serious book, about a serious subject. . . a crisis more threatening than climate change."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Methodical, lyrical. . . If ever there was a conservation idea ready to take hold and change awareness, it's rewilding."—Sacramento News & Review
"A clarion call to save wildlife and the wilderness by 'rewilding.'"—The Daily Beast
"Readers will come away better informed about the complexity of the ecosystems around us and with an increased awareness of the many factors involved in maintaining natural order and balance. . . This truly is an essential read for conservationists, biologists, and anyone interested in the natural world."—Library Journal
, starred review "A fascinating, little-known story. . ."
"Makes a convincing case that [rewilding] represents the only realistic strategy for conserving our rapidly diminishing wildlife."—Kirkus "Her story of grassroots activism paired with the scientific is environmentally inspirational."—Publishers Weekly “Since I spend much of my time trying to head off environmental calamity, this fascinating and lyrical book came as a particularly welcome gift. It shows how scientists and activists are using imagination and research to build a realistic strategy for securing our green and noble heritage for the future. It will help you think big, which is the only way to think about these questions.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and The End of Nature
“A riveting journal of the astonishing bio-impoverishment of our planet.”
—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance and author of Crimes Against Nature “Caroline Frasers Rewilding the World is an exciting and wise exploration of a revolution thats reshaping the conservation movement. Shes gone all over the world to bring us news from the front lines, and her account is one of essential hope: though its no guarantee that we can save nature from collapse, she shows that we have a fighting chance. Frasers account stirred me.”
—Richard Preston, author of The Wild Trees and The Hot Zone
"Give them room to roam! Caroline Frasers smart, passionate manifesto offers hope to the wild world. In an age of overwhelming loss, she shows us how to gain: more bears, more wolves, more biodiversity, more thriving ecosystems, more life. This is an important book about the cutting edge of conservation and how it might save our continent and our selves."
—Bruce Barcott, author of The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw
“Rewilding is less a conservationist's utopian vision than a roadmap for the way we must learn to live on earth. As Caroline Fraser carefully explains, humans will survive only in a world as wild as the one that created us. If you want to live, read this book.”—Doug Peacock, author of The Essential Grizzly and Walking It Off
“As a passionate polemic, Feral could not be more rigorously researched, more elegantly delivered, or more timely. We need such big thinking for our own sakes and those of our children. Bring on the wolves and whales, I say, and, in the words of Maurice Sendak, let the wild rumpus start.”
"The world knows George Monbiot mostly from his powerful and perceptive journalism. But this is a whole different order of writing and thinking, a primal account of an unstifled world."
"George Monbiot is always original--both in the intelligence of his opinions and the depth and rigour of his research. In this unusual book he presents a persuasive argument for a new future for the planet, one in which we consciously progress from just conserving nature to actively rebuilding it."
"Feral has really opened my mind to the history and possibilities of our landscape. It reflects a very real need in us all right now to be released from our claustrophobic monoculture and sense of powerlessness. To break the straight lines into endless branches. To free our land from its absent administrators. To rewild both the landscape and ourselves. It is the most positive and daring environmental book I have read. In order to change our world you have to be able to see a better one. I think George has done that."
"Monbiot is at his lyrical best sharing his own very private encounters with the natural world. Then his craving for a 'richer, rawer life' becomes not just compelling but irresistible."
"Monbiot challenges the reader to think more deeply on the subject of rewilding. . . . Throughout the book, Monbiot's lyrical and provocative tales of his efforts to reengage with the wild stimulate the senses and arouse an innate urge to affiliate with nature. . . . Monbiot takes you on an emotional roller coaster, at times plunging you into troughs of despair as he discusses the bleak plight of much of our wildlife and, at others, raising you up on peaks of hope as he discusses how much of the degradation can be reversed. . . . Part personal journal, part restoration ecology primer, Feral popularizes the concept of rewilding and will likely prompt wildlife managers, landowners, policy-makers, and the general public to question their perception of the natural world and its role in our lives."
A gripping account of the environmental crusade to save the worlds most endangered species and landscapesthe last best hope for preserving our natural home
Scientists worldwide are warning of the looming extinction of thousands of species, from tigers and polar bears to rare flowers, birds, and insects. If the destruction continues, a third of all plants and animals could disappear by 2050and with them earths life-support ecosystems that provide our food, water, medicine, and natural defenses against climate change.
Now Caroline Fraser offers the first definitive account of a visionary campaign to confront this crisis: rewilding. Breathtaking in scope and ambition, rewilding aims to save species by restoring habitats, reviving migration corridors, and brokering peace between people and predators. Traveling with wildlife biologists and conservationists, Fraser reports on the vast projects that are turning Europes former Iron Curtain into a greenbelt, creating trans-frontier Peace Parks to renew elephant routes throughout Africa, and linking protected areas from the Yukon to Mexico and beyond.
An inspiring story of scientific discovery and grassroots action, Rewilding the World offers hope for a richer, wilder future.
A Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year
If environmental destruction continues at its current rate, a third of all plants and animals could disappear by 2050—along with earths life-support ecosystems, which provide food, water, medicine, and natural defenses against climate change.
Now Caroline Fraser offers the first definitive account of a visionary crusade to confront this crisis: rewilding. Breathtaking in scope and ambition, rewilding aims to save species by restoring habitats, reviving migration corridors, and brokering peace between people and predators. A “methodical, lyrical” (Sacramento News & Review) story of scientific discovery and grassroots action, Rewilding the World offers hope for a richer, wilder future.
As an investigative journalist, Monbiot found a mission in his ecological boredom, that of learning what it might take to impose a greater state of harmony between himself and nature. He was not one to romanticize undisturbed, primal landscapes, but rather in his attempts to satisfy his cravings for a richer, more authentic life, he came stumbled into the world of restoration and rewilding. When these concepts were first introduced in 2011, very recently, they focused on releasing captive animals into the wild. Soon the definition expanded to describe the reintroduction of animal and plant species to habitats from which they had been excised.
Some people began using it to mean the rehabilitation not just of particular species, but of entire ecosystems: a restoration of wilderness. Rewilding recognizes that nature consists not just of a collection of species but also of their ever-shifting relationships with each other and with the physical environment. Ecologists have shown how the dynamics within communities are affected by even the seemingly minor changes in species assemblages. Predators and large herbivores have transformed entire landscapes, from the nature of the soil to the flow of rivers, the chemistry of the oceans, and the composition of the atmosphere. The complexity of earth systems is seemingly boundless.
About the Author
Caroline Frasers first book, Gods Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Book Review Best Book. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Outside magazine, among others. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Table of Contents
1. Raucous Summer
2. The Wild Hunt
5. The Never-spotted Leopard
6. Greening the Desert
7. Bring Back the Wolf
8. A Work of Hope
10. The Hushings
11. The Beast Within (Or How Not to Rewild)
12. The Conservation Prison
13. Rewilding the Sea
14. The Gifts of the Sea
15. Last Light