Part travel narrative and part investigative journalism, Craig Childs explores and contemplates the two major questions about us humans: who we are and where we came from. Though not providing definitive answers, Childs writes a great and fun adventure book about Ice Age America. A real fun read. Recommended By Manuel H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The first people in the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. On a side of the planet no human had ever seen, different groups arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The land they reached was fully inhabited by megafauna — mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. These Ice Age explorers, hunters, and families were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals.
In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs blends science and personal narrative to upend our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era, and reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Through it, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
"It’s a clever, smartly written and altogether enthusiastic effort to breathe feeling and life into the human processes behind all those ancient sites, artifacts, and busted animal bones. The past is a country to which one cannot return, but Atlas of a Lost World at least helps you imagine what you might be missing.” The Wall Street Journal
"A wonderful and adventurous book." Aspen Daily News
"A tight weave of professional findings, anecdotes, site visits, and explanations behind ancient artifacts make this book both engaging and indispensable for those with an interest in prehistory." Kirkus starred review
About the Author
Craig Childs is the author of Apocalyptic Planet. He has been a regular commentator for NPR's Morning Edition, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, Outside, The Sun, and Orion Magazine. Awards he has received include the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, the Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure, the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, and, for his body of work, the 2003 Spirit of the West Award.