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Why We Are Here: Mobile and the Spirit of a Southern City
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Why We Are Here: Mobile and the Spirit of a Southern City

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Entranced by Edward O. Wilson 's mesmerizing evocation of his Southern childhood in The Naturalist and Anthill, Alex Harris approached the scientist about collaborating on a book about Wilson 's native world of Mobile, Alabama. Perceiving that Mobile was a city small enough to be captured through a lens yet old enough to have experienced a full epic cycle of tragedy and re...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 8th 2012 by Liveright
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Dianne
I read EVERYTHING by EO Wilson, possibly the most brilliant biologist who has ever lived. I loved his novel 'Ants', and from that learned much of his childhood in Alabama. 'Why We Are Here' continues his exploration of the culture and natural history of the South, specifically the area around Mobile, AL. Beautiful photos capture the magic of the deep South. I'm creating a 'places to go' list as I read, and planning a road trip there. Fun - can't wait....

And such an added life thrill to hear EO W...more
Aurora
Title of the Book: Why We are here; Mobile and the spirit of a southern city

Author: Edward O Wilson and Alex Harris

Publisher: Liveright Publishing Company

Publishing Date: 2012

ISBN: 978-0-87140-470-1

Summary:

Entranced by Edward O. Wilson 's mesmerizing evocation of his Southern childhood in The Naturalist and Anthill, Alex Harris approached the scientist about collaborating on a book about Wilson 's native world of Mobile, Alabama. Perceiving that Mobile was a city small enough to be captured thro...more
Phoenixfalls
I received a copy of the ARC through GoodReads First Reads program, which means the photography was all in black and white, so I cannot judge it entirely accurately.

The first half of the book is made up of mostly Alex Harris' photography. Harris has a good eye for nature photography -- the landscape photos were stunning, even in black and white, finding a stark beauty in the woodlands and swamps surrounding Mobile. Unfortunately, I found his photographs of the people of Mobile rather underwhelmi...more
Johanna
Biologist and Alabama native Edward O. Wilson presents a wonderful accounting of the people and culture of the Alabama Gulf region. Packed with full-page, beautiful images by photographer Alex Harris, Why We Are Here explores the heart and soul of Mobile, from it’s diverse inhabitants to the intriguing plant and animal life.

This book would make a great conversation starter as a coffee table book. You can’t help but pick it up and flip through its pages. Why We Are Here is a wonderful book that I...more
Sharon Huether
I won this book through Goodreads.Why We Are Here: Mobile and the Spirit of a Southern City By Edward O. Wilson and Alex Harris I like to read about places that I've never been, to gain an understand and what it would be like to like there. This book has some wonderful photos taken by Alex Harris that depicts the people and their surroundings. Alabama became a state in 1813. Cotton was King as the major crop grown. The author did a good showing the city of Mobile to it's full advantage from the...more
Rachel
I really enjoyed reading the history of Mobile and I loved the pictures. I had been to Mobile quite a few years ago and I loved it. This book brought back memories of that trip and made me want to visit again.

I would've liked to see the pictures in color, but even in black and white, they were awesome.

Reading the history of just one specific place intrigues me, it seems like you get to know the place just a little bit more than reading a broader history.

I received a copy of this book for free f...more
Amy
*I won this ARC on Goodreadys Giveaways*

I was disappointed to find that all the photographs were black and white. From previous reviews I gather that's because it's an ARC. I might have liked it better with color photos, but I found the text somewhat dry also. If I'd never been to Mobile and looked at this book, I don't believe I would have felt drawn to visit. There was some historical information that was interesting though.
Mikki Ibarra
I won this on Goodreads First Read Giveaway and received it yesterday. It's perfect. Seriously. The photographs are heartwarming, the text is well written and although I have never been to Mobile, I can't wait to go now. It's a beautiful collection of a place which is obviously loved by its residents. I highly recommend it, whether you just take a look through it once, or as I am going to do, place it out for display.
Jennifer Cain
This was a firstreads giveaway!

A beautiful depiction of Mobil, Alabama - a true Sountern Belle. The book combines warm texts and photos to "weave togethr nothing less than a grand narrative about nlif on this planet."

My ARC happns to be black & white and I enjoyed the feel. I am sure the final editions will be color with lovley slick paper. This will only add to the impact of the work.
Ashley
I won this book on the goodreads giveaway.

Overall, a nice mix of autobiography and Mobile history. It's clear that author has deep roots and fond memories of his hometown, which add a human interest angle without interrupting the flow of the book. The photos which were in black and white would be more dynamic in color, particularly the landscapes, but were a welcome addition none the less.
Jessica
I received this book through the firstreads giveaway and enjoyed it. It was a nice book about the history of Mobile and how everything is interconnected to make things what they are now. My copy unfortunately only came with black-and-white pictures, but I'm sure the images are much more captivating in full color and would end up better completing this book.
Lisa
Why We Are Here: Mobile and the spirit of a Southern City offers stunning black and white photographs of the diverse peoples and areas in the city of Mobile. The book explains the different photos and how they relate to Mobile. Although the explanations are nice, I skimmed them because the pictures spoke to me.
Colleen Veard
A beautiful look at the South . Would also have been more interested in seeing at least some of the photos in color. Not sure it is because it was a prerelease that I won on Goodreads or intentional ? Still , it is a good book to leave out and look over and read at leisure.
Morgan griggs
I won this on Goodreads First Read Giveaway
loved the black and white photos, you really felt like you were in the south. loved how personal it was. loved the historical places. really made me want to take a trip down there. really enjoyed this book.
Janeen
Gorgeous photography of Southern Alabama.
Chessa
beautiful book. the pictures, the descriptions of "southern" life. interesting analyses, recommended for biology or southern history fans.
Tami
It was a little slow at parts...but I'm glad I didn't give up. I was pleased I continued!
Evelyn
Sep 19, 2012 Evelyn added it
Woo! Just won this and I'm certain I'm going to love it- full review to follow.
E.
Beautiful B&W's. Wonderful stories connected to the pics.
Melissa
I loved the pictures.
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Edward Osborne Wilson is an American biologist, researcher, theorist, and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology, a branch of entomology. A two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, Wilson is known for his career as a scientist, his advocacy for environmentalism, and his secular-humanist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters. He is Pellegrino University Re...more
More about Edward O. Wilson...
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