Most helpful positive review
Very, very pretty, but ...
on January 22, 2002
I heartily endorse all the glowing praise of other reviewers for the layout and the fine grain of the spectacular photographs. Design excellence.
I know personally one of the editorial panel and, yes, he is among the world's leading authority in his field. From that I assume the others are, too.
BUT, for all the science and thought that has gone into the book it has two critical flaws.
(1) it suffers from "vertebrate chauvinism". Most of the world's animals are not vertebrates, but most of this book is devoted to vertebrates. Biodiversity depends on far, far more than the vertebrates.
(2) it omits one of the planet's most populous species, a species which, by its spread, has changed the lives of most other species and is causing many of them to become extinct. I refer to the human species. Can you believe it is not listed!
How can a book which appears to be otherwise so scientifically sound, in the twenty-first century, get these two things so wrong?
Despite these fundamental flaws, the book is a gem. My copy is prominent in our house and everyone dips into it almost daily. A feast!