The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man

David Attenborough, Author
David Attenborough, Author Little Brown and Company $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-316-05750-9
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Life on Earth and The Living Planet were print companions to Attenborough's highly acclaimed television series; in this lavishly illustrated volume, also a TV tie-in, he focuses on the cradle of Western civilization, tracing the life of the Mediterranean from salt bed to lush paradise and its ultimate exploitation. History, natural history and archeology come together in a narrative that portrays the changing attitudes of mankind toward the environment. Attenborough surveys early plant and animal life; he discusses climatic changes, noting that today the hostile season is summer. An examination of prehistoric cave drawings leads to the subject of animal gods and sacrificial worship. The domestication of the horse opened the doors to wars and migration; Attenborough chronicles the movements in both directions from the Huns to the Crusaders and, finally, looks at more recent despoliation. The final chapter locates pockets of Edenareas of preservation. BOMC and QPBC main selections. (September)
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