Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

W. W. Norton & Company
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"Rich detail and vivid anecdotes of adventure....A treasure trove of exotic fact and hard thinking."—The New York Times Book Review, front page For millennia, lions, tigers, and their man-eating kin have kept our dark, scary forests dark and scary, and their predatory majesty has been the stuff of folklore. But by the year 2150 big predators may only exist on the other side of glass barriers and chain-link fences. Their gradual disappearance is changing the very nature of our existence. We no longer occupy an intermediate position on the food chain; instead we survey it invulnerably from above—so far above that we are in danger of forgetting that we even belong to an ecosystem.

Casting his expert eye over the rapidly diminishing areas of wilderness where predators still reign, the award-winning author of The Song of the Dodo examines the fate of lions in India's Gir forest, of saltwater crocodiles in northern Australia, of brown bears in the mountains of Romania, and of Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East. In the poignant and troublesome ferocity of these embattled creatures, we recognize something primeval deep within us, something in danger of vanishing forever.
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About the author

David Quammen is the author of The Song of the Dodo, among other books. He has been honored with the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an award in the art of the essay from PEN, and (three times) the National Magazine Award. Quammen is also a contributing writer for National Geographic. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Sep 17, 2004
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Pages
528
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ISBN
9780393076301
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From the host of the Travel Channel’s “The Wild Within.”

A hunt for the American buffalo—an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination.
 
In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds—there’s only a 2 percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful—Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can dare to share our land with a beast that is the embodiment of the American wilderness.

American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo’s past, present, and future: to the Bering Land Bridge, where scientists search for buffalo bones amid artifacts of the New World’s earliest human inhabitants; to buffalo jumps where Native Americans once ran buffalo over cliffs by the thousands; to the Detroit Carbon works, a “bone charcoal” plant that made fortunes in the late 1800s by turning millions of tons of buffalo bones into bone meal, black dye, and fine china; and even to an abattoir turned fashion mecca in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, where a depressed buffalo named Black Diamond met his fate after serving as the model for the American nickel.

 Rinella’s erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with a quirky blend of facts and observations about history, biology, and the natural world. Both a captivating narrative and a book of environmental and historical significance, American Buffalo tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.
Aquí se cuenta la historia completa del virus del Ébola: su pasado, su presente y su futuro insondable.

¿Dónde se aloja el virus del Ébola? David Quammen busca la respuesta a esta pregunta y se propone descubrir la clave del origen de la enfermedad, así como las causas de su propagación.

Desde el primer brote registrado en el bosque del Congo en la década de los setenta, hasta el más reciente en el oeste de África, aquí se cuenta la historia completa del virus del Ébola: su pasado, su presente y su futuro insondable. A lo largo de estas páginas, el rigor científico se entremezcla con una narrativa aguda que muestra a la enfermedad en su dimensión real, estableciendo una distancia con la percepción limitada y muchas veces exagerada de los medios.

Los virus en general, y el del Ébola en particular, son una amenaza silenciosa e impredecible. Descubrir dónde está el virus, cuál es elanimal portador y cómo se transmite al hombre, motivó a David Quammen, bajo la guía de biólogos, inmunólogos, infectólogos y veterinarios, a emprender la búsqueda de la especie huésped, el eslabón perdido que ha provocado tanto pánico en la comunidad internacional.

La crítica ha dicho:

"El libro de David Quammen es profundamente inquietante, pero también es sensato, y en esa medida, destaca entre otros libros sobre el Ébola, los cuales se presentan como guías de terror o thrillers médicos." -Michiko Kakutani, New York Times Book Review-

"David Quammen no sólo es uno de los mejores escritores de ciencia, sino uno de los mejores escritores." -The New York Times-

"Una aterradora y fascinante obra maestra de investigación científica que se lee como una novela policiaca." -Walter Isaacson, autor de Steve Jobs-

"Un libro minucioso que explica todo lo que sabemos, y todo lo que no sabemos, sobre esta terrible enfermedad." -Wired-

2016年2月「泛科學」推薦選書

《商業周刊》第1473、1474期合刊書摘推薦 

本書由自然科普得獎作家、暢銷書《多多鳥之歌》作者耗時5年完成,榮獲:

u  美國科學作家協會(National Association of Science Writers)「社會科學新聞獎」(Science in Society Journalism Awards)

u  英國生物學會書籍獎(Society of Biology Book Award) 

 

李偉文(牙醫師、作家、環保志工) 誠心推薦 

當我們包圍野生動物,把牠們逼到牆角、消滅牠們、並吃掉牠們時,

我們也染上了牠們的疾病!

人類踏進了病原的地盤,創造了絕佳的條件讓自己成為新的宿主,

也替神祕病原製造了全新的生態機會,為自己招來下一場大禍! 

我們無法避開這些可怕疾病而置身事外,因為我們就活在自然界裡,

人類常常忘了,自己也是動物之一,而且和其他動物密不可分!

2003年肆虐中港台的SARS疫情,會不會再次死灰復燃?

伊波拉病毒什麼時候會在非洲以外地區爆發大流行?

從HIV、亨德拉病毒、伊波拉、禽流感到SARS……,

新興疾病從其他動物跨物種跳躍到人類宿主的機會越來越頻繁,

演化會不會終將造就出無法遏止的超級病原? 

*   *   *

下一場凶殘的人類大規模流行病,殺害數百萬人的重大疫情,肯定是一種新疾病引發的──至少是人類新遇上的種類。致病原禍首肯定是我們陌生的,不熟悉的,卻也不會是從外太空來的。這種殺手病原體──最可能是種病毒──很有可能是從非人類動物外溢傳進人群。

逵曼的《下一場人類大瘟疫》是一部科學報導鉅著,循線周遊世界,探究這項主題。五年來,逵曼和科學家形影不離,實地深入田野──孟加拉一處樹梢、剛果一片森林、中國一家竹鼠養殖場、紐約州杜且斯郡一處郊區林地──還進入了他們的高等級生物安全實驗室。他訪問了倖存者,採集了身亡者的故事。他從最新研究發現了意外事項,得知了公共衛生官員心中的憂懼,提出了研究人員眼中必須高度關注的狀況。《下一場人類大瘟疫》講述科學、歷史、祕辛和人類創痛,化為讀之不忍釋手的劇情。

「下一場大禍」會在哪處偏遠地帶,從哪種無辜的動物現身?那會是中國南方某種齧齒類動物?西部非洲某種猴子?馬來西亞恰好停棲在某家養豬場上方的某種蝙蝠?在這個快速旅行且稠密人類族群之間頻繁交流的時代,新興疾病有可能不到幾個小時就傳遍全球。不過它會從哪裡開始,如何起步?最近起次爆發可以提供一些指引,於是逵曼投入尋根探源,追查伊波拉、馬堡病毒症、SARS、禽流感、萊姆病以及其他古怪陰森的外溢案例,像是非洲土著煮食一隻死掉的黑猩猩,導致全村遭伊波拉肆虐;一名染上SARS的超級傳播者入住香港一家酒店,導致疫情迅速擴展到加拿大、新加坡跟越南;以及世紀黑死病──愛滋病又如何從喀麥隆的一隻黑猩猩起步等等。

《下一場人類大瘟疫》提出一些急迫的問題:這些事件是偶發不幸或連帶有關?它們只是不巧發生在我們身上,或者是我們因故引發的?可以採行哪些措施?不過《下一場人類大瘟疫》不只是實地報導的嘹喨號角,它還優雅道出一段求知的故事,鋪陳穿梭時光,跨越地貌,也帶我們全新認識大自然令人敬畏的奧妙運作。

 

【各界好評】

「這是部驚心動魄又饒富興味的科學報導鉅著,讀來彷若偵探小說。大衛.逵曼帶領我們踏上求知之旅,深入探究愛滋病、伊波拉以及其他帶有一種恐怖共通特性的其他疾病:它們全都從野生動物跨種跳躍傳給人類。逵曼為文解釋這項漸增的趨勢,他不只發出預警,提醒我們未來有可能面臨什麼樣的疾病,還促使我們反省,我們人類在地球生態系統中,占了什麼樣的地位。」

──沃爾特.艾薩克森(Walter Issacson),《賈伯斯傳》(Steve Jobs)作者 

「稱大衛.逵曼是我們的最偉大科學作家之一,實在太小看他了。他是我們的最偉大作家之一,句點。逵曼不怕肩起浩大的重要課題,這本《下一場人類大瘟疫》讓他肩起了他迄今最浩大,也最重要的課題。這是一本以最優雅文筆,最高妙思維包裹的醫學驚悚讀物。」

──漢普頓.賽茲(Hampton Sides),敘事歷史學暢銷書作家,《戶外探索》(Outside)特約編輯 

「大衛.逵曼再次成就壯舉。耐人尋味又駭人聽聞,《下一場人類大瘟疫》是一本談現實真相的驚悚著作,論述結果會影響到我們所有人。」

──伊莉莎白.科爾伯特(Elizabeth Kolbert),《一場災難紀實》(Field Notes from a Catastrophe)作者 

「大衛.逵曼的書為什麼這麼好,理由在於他隨時都樂意動身前往危險的偏遠地帶,追根究柢一探自然之祕。他在撰寫《下一場人類大瘟疫》時,表現出最無畏的舉止,不論他是健行穿越非洲叢林,或徒手處理有可能染上致命病毒的馬來西亞蝙蝠。他完成旅程,帶著一本極端重要的書本返還,並引據論證我們對自然界的不斷侵擾,如何讓我們的全球健康陷入險境。」

──卡爾.齊默(Carl Zimmer),《病毒星球》(A Planet of Viruses)和《演化:跨越40億年的生命記錄》(Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea)作者 

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