Soul of the Tiger: Searching for Nature's Answers in Exotic Southeast Asia

Jeffrey A. McNeely, Author, Paul Spencer Wachtel, Photographer, Paul Wachtel, With Doubleday Books $19.95 (390p) ISBN 978-0-385-24225-7
Crusades to save the environment often overlook the human factor; conservation projects are oriented more to animals than to people. This provocative and engrossing book focuses on the relationship between people and nature in southeast Asia, where the development of a world marketplace is undermining that relationship and thus the foundations of society. There, conservation is as much a social challenge as a biological one. The authors served in the Peace CorpsMcNeely in Thailand, Wachtel in Borneo; each has experience in rural communities ``east of India, south of China, north of Australia.'' They pinpoint four major events (``eco-cultural revolutions'') that have shaped southeast Asia: control of fire, domestication of plants and animals, irrigation and the world marketplace. The latter has now reached into the most remote and primitive societies on earth, affecting both people and wildlife. Among the diverse topics addressed here are Asian medicine; the monkeys of Siberut, Indonesia; headhunting; and ways to continue economic progress without ruining the environment. The book is a solid combination of natural history and anthropology. Nature Book Society main selection; Macmillan Natural Sciences Book Club and Library of Science Book Club selections. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 978-1-55778-280-9
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-8248-1669-8
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