Anyone curious about animals, nature, or the history of biology will find much of interest in this ample and varied collection. Reflecting his infectious enthusiasm for "the best natural history," Beebe's personal assortment of favorites includes excerpts from massive sources, such as Audubon and Darwin, and intriguing pieces from lesser known authors most of us would not normally encounter. Arranged in chronological order, the small masterpieces here range from Aristotle to Rachel Carson. Each of them is introduced by an incisive and sometimes humorous description of its author.
"This is an anthology with a fine sense of history.... there is a timelessness to many of its selections."--Washington Post Book World
"Good anthologies of natural history are rare. This one is unique, in my experience, for the uniform excellence of the chosen pieces. There are no undisciplined reveries, and nature is reported directly, rather than as a setting for personal introspection. This excellence is no accident, for Beebe himself was a keen observer and a master of the finest expeditionary prose."--Henry S. Horn, Princeton University