Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

George Monbiot. Univ. of Chicago, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-226-20555-7
Investigative journalist, Guardian columnist, and visionary Monbiot (Bring on the Apocalypse: Six Arguments for Global Justice) offers a gorgeous, passionate defense of “rewilding”: a conservation approach that primes unproductive land to develop a stable mix of plant and animal species without additional human intervention. Monbiot sees rewilding as the cure for our civilization’s “ecological boredom,” rejecting dour, short-sighted conservation efforts which statically preserve depleted lands like sheep-grazing meadows instead of offering the hope of wild places’ potential to return primal amazement and danger to the human experience. Traveling from the Amazonian rainforest to Romania’s Carpathians to the rivers and uplands of Wales, Monbiot blends convincing data about successes and failures in returning large animal species to the land with vibrant recollections of his experiences—both delightful and depressing—engaging with these places today and the people charged with caring for them. He insists that we are creatures of nature, not outside of it; that places left to their own devices will thrive; and that reengaging with wildness enthralls the human soul. Monbiot infuses a desperately-needed, almost Romantic optimism into an environmental movement so often grounded in blame and despair. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-670-06717-6
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-14-197559-7
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-226-32527-9
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