- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Random House Canada; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 24 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307362183
- ISBN-13: 978-0307362186
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 440 g
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #221,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be Hardcover – Sep 24 2013
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FINALIST 2013 – Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – RBC Taylor Prize
FINALIST 2014 – BC Book Prizes Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize
FINALIST 2014 – Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award
WINNER 2014 – Green Prize for Sustainable Literature
"This book is a delight. MacKinnon shows us afresh the world we thought we knew through a kaleidoscopic lens of startling facts, illuminating insight and flat-out-wonderful writing.”
—John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce and The Tiger
“A lean, elegant and powerful essay on what we have done to the world—and what we might do to set things right. J.B. MacKinnon has made me think in new ways about our self-destructive trashing of the ‘luckless garden’ into which we were so lucky to be born.”
—Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress
“MacKinnon is an eloquent guide through landscapes wild and tame. He takes the reader backwards through evolutionary time and forward into a delicate and unknown future. I devoured this book in a day and closed its covers marveling at our planet’s incredible abundance. Natural history at its best.”
—Charlotte Gill, author of Eating Dirt
“A re-enchantment with the natural world may be a necessary prerequisite to the changes we must make to keep that natural world more or less intact. This is deep and lovely thinking and writing.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
“Henry David Thoreau warned us, in 1862, that not in wilderness but in wildness is the preservation of the world. There’s a difference. In The Once and Future World, J.B. MacKinnon brings this distinction up to date. Wilderness may be gone forever, but wildness can be recovered, and it is time to get to work.”
“This book should make your blood run cold; or boil with furious rage against the despoilers of our planet. But perhaps all is not yet lost. MacKinnon tells us that the crisis in the natural world is not yet fatal…but it’s waiting. And then he tells us most convincingly what we can and must do to stop the rot. This is a handbook for those who hope to see the earth, and man, remain alive together.”
“A gripping and convincing look at the nature that humans lost and the perspective that we gained. MacKinnon leaves us wanting to be wilder.”
—Jennifer Jacquet, author of the Guilty Planet blog at Scientific American, assistant professor of environmental studies at NYU
“The 100-Mile Diet forever changed the way I see a plate of food and it is still with me today. The Once and Future World changed the way I see everything. One can only hope it spawns a movement like The 100-Mile Diet did—a moment of re-imagining, re-wilding and coming home.”
—Leanne Allison, filmmaker (Being Caribou, Finding Farley, Bear 71)
“Like Peter Matthiessen, Barry Lopez and Tim Flannery, J.B. MacKinnon is an exceptional writer with an intense passion for the natural world. In The Once and Future World, MacKinnon combines eloquent storytelling with painstaking research to provide a persuasive argument for the need to not only protect the wildness we have today, but to restore at least some of the abundance we have lost. It may be too late to bring back the Tasmanian tiger, but, as MacKinnon writes, there’s still time to create a planet that is far richer in natural wonders.”
—James Little, former editor of Explore magazine
“J.B. MacKinnon is one of the finest essayists of the natural world writing today.”
—Andrew D. Blechman, managing editor of Orion and author of Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird
About the Author
J.B. MacKINNON has won numerous national and international awards for journalism. As the originator of the 100-mile diet concept, he appears regularly in Canada and the USA as a speaker and commentator on ecology and food. His book, The 100-Mile Diet, co-authored with Alisa Smith, was a national bestseller and inspired a TV series in which the small town of Mission, BC, learned to eat locally. He was also the co-author, with Mia Kirshner and artists Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons, of I Live Here, a groundbreaking "paper documentary" about displaced people that made top 10 lists in media as diverse as the Bloomsbury Literary Review and Comic Book Resources, as well as becoming a Los Angeles Times bestseller. His first book, Dead Man in Paradise, in which he investigated the assassination of his uncle, a radical priest in the Dominican Republic, won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction.
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For me the main issue when suggesting an environmental book is that it really explains to the majority of the world why a connection with nature is important, the differences it makes, and the history leading up to where we are now. Without such a foundation it doesn't always make much sense to a person who does not already have a solid connection with nature. And lets face it, most people don't. So you need to speak to those people. This book does that. Very very very well! I have suggested to many of my friends already to buy this book. Not all my friends are like me, so I think carefully before suggesting so they actually get something out of it. Every one of them has.
This is one of those rare books I support to the point that IF I had the funds in our small environmental grassroots group I help run, I'd buy boxes of these books and disperse them. Seriously....I would. We are trying very hard to save a remaining natural space soon to be fully taken over by development.
So what do you have to lose by reading this? Nothing! Seasoned naturalists will find it beautiful and well crafted even if they already know most of the information in it. People with no connection with the natural world, might actually consider making that connection after reading this. And I think that's what the author was going for. So good on him. This is real work of value and substance to the world, amidst a lot of chaos and mindless drivel.
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