Bird of Life, Bird of Death: A Naturalist's Journey Through a Land of Political Turmoil

Jonathan Evan Maslow, Author Simon & Schuster $17.45 (249p) ISBN 978-0-671-52738-9
Originally, the journey was a search for Guatemala's national symbol, the endangered quetzal (bird of life). But Maslow, author of The Owl Papers, found in this beleaguered country that life itself is threatened. In city slums, wretched human scavengers are quickly followed by vultures (zopilotes, or birds of death). In the countryside, there is poverty and fear of the roaming militiathe infamous death squads. Maslow incorporates history and natural science, people and society into this grim, incisive report. With a photographer friend, he drove from Guatemala City through devastated foothills to the Highlands, encountering frequent military checkpoints. They found the quetzal, but its resplendence was overshadowed by necrophagous zopilotes. This powerful, impressionistic story offers little hope for the future of this land of turmoil. (February 27)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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