Synopses & Reviews
Giant pandas have been causing a stir ever since their formal scientific discovery just over 140 years ago. Yet in spite of humankind's evident obsession with the giant panda, it is only in the last few decades that scientific research has begun to show us what this mysterious, frequently misunderstood creature is really like.
Henry Nicholls uses the rich and curious history of the giant panda to do several things: to ponder our changing attitudes toward the natural world; to offer a compelling history of the conservation movement; and to chart the rise of modern China on its journey to become the self-sufficient, twenty-first-century superpower it is today.
"Richly diverting. At times everything concerning the creatures seems to have a political angle: not only their value as state gifts but also their precise scientific classification; their mating habits and offspring; and the efforts to ensure their preservation. The author compares the history of the panda in the modern world to that of China itself." The Wall Street Journal
"A fascinating story of an extraordinary animal." Desmond Morris, famed zoologist and author of The Naked Ape
Learn how the extraordinary impact of the panda--from obscurity to fame--is also the story of China's transition from shy beginnings to center stage.
About the Author
Henry Nicholls writes regularly for Nature, New Scientist and BBC Focus as well as the science journals Endeavor and Galapagos News. His first book, Lonesome George, told the story of the last giant tortoise of Pinta in the Galapagos and was shortlisted for the 2007 Royal Society General Book Prize. Henry lives in London.