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Cultures of Habitat: On Nature, Culture and Story

Nabhan, Gary Paul

56 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1887178473 / ISBN 13: 9781887178471
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From N. Fagin Books (Chicago, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

1997. Botany, Agriculture, anthropological theory. Counterpoint, Washington,D.C. collected articles. Ex-departmental library stampings otherwise very good boards with cloth spine, very good dust jacket 338p. Bookseller Inventory # -1626628524

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cultures of Habitat: On Nature, Culture and ...

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


A collection of essays explores the impact of indigenous cultures with stable communities on the conservation of biological diversity in natural habitats

From Kirkus Reviews:

Essays on plants, animals, wild places, and human interactions with them all. Nabhan (The Geography of Childhood, 1994, etc.), a research scientist at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and a MacArthur fellow, has for many years worked to promote the conservation of plants that are culturally and economically important to various indigenous peoples around the world. Many of these essays (most previously published in periodicals) touch on these plants and their use in human cultures. For example, Nabhan discusses the rise of diabetes among the O'odham people of Arizona following their shift from a diet based on native plants to one relying on processed, mass-produced foods; in another, he examines the possible downfall of Mexico's tequila industry, which now relies on a single agave (a kind of succulent) as a source of pulp, though there are dozens of varieties of agave plants. Nabhan writes of the sense of wonderment that comes from a knowledge of the natural world, and of the important work of learning what might be called ``natural literacy'' as a cultural skill. The best piece in the book indirectly addresses this last matter; in it, Nabhan decries the sterility of school playgrounds, which ``seem to squelch life rather than nurture it.'' Nabhan is not a particularly fluent writer, and he often strains for effect (in one not untypical passage, he writes of an ``all-female lizard species with reproductive habits more radical than anything in lesbian literature''). Many of Nabhan's pieces preach to a small choir. Nonetheless, the themes touched on are certain to be of interest to those readers concerned about environmental issues, especially worldwide biodiversity and its conservation. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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