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The Edge of Extinction: Travels with Enduring People in Vanishing Lands

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In The Edge of Extinction, Jules Pretty explores life and change in a dozen environments and cultures across the world, taking us on a series of remarkable journeys through deserts, coasts, mountains, steppes, snowscapes, marshes, and farms to show that there are many different ways to live in cooperation with nature. From these accounts of people living close to the land ...more
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published December 18th 2014 by Comstock Publishing (first published October 29th 2014)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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JG
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I didn't really know what to expect about this book before I start reading it. I chose it just to diversify my reading. Now that I have read it, I feel that it left me with a sense of incompleteness.

The reading is interesting and depicts the author's impressions on his travels to some of the most inhospitable and desolate places where the small population has preserved (out of necessity or conviction) some ancient ways of living.

The book reads as a mix of travel chronicles, history, geography a
...more
Nigel
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Simply the title of this fascinated me - I have always been interested in remote places and so insights into their possible survival in the modern world struck me as being of value. The scope of this book is simply vast covering a dozen or more very diverse locations around the world. Not only are those locations diverse but the current state of those locations vary widely as do the threats to their extinction. In some cases the threats are passive indifference while in others those threats are ...more
Clare O'Beara
The author has travelled a considerable amount and made the effort to meet people in marginal areas leading cultural lifestyles out of step with today's world. He mentions having been in China thirty years ago and the changes since. We see nomadic herders, fishermen, mountain dwellers and bird-catchers, everywhere from Mongolia to Finland to Australia.

I commend the author for recording these ways of life, and noting difficulties such as strip mining or industry which encroach on their lands.

Ho
...more
Kel Munger
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Life in the world, and of it

The Edge of Extinction: Travels with Enduring People in Vanishing Lands by Jules Pretty (Cornell University Press, $27.95).

Jules Pretty’s thesis isn’t new; it’s his approach that is original. Many writers, environmentalists and foodies have been suggesting for close to a generation that we highly-evolved types have gotten too far away from the natural world and so have lost perspective and a certain spiritual connection to the planet.

What Pretty has done differently
...more
Barbara
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not quite as advertised. I was expecting more of an in depth discussion of "enduring people in vanishing lands." What I got was a sort of disjointed travelogue that, while sort of pleasant and calming at times, left me wondering how much the author either failed to observe or didn't want to discuss. Sometimes the chapters were not much more than a description of the land, without much reference to the people who live or lived there. And where are the women in this book?
Beth
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I got it from the library and then bought a used copy because it has such a lot of interesting material in the bibliography. Really good, and not so depressing as I thought it might be, perhaps because of the epilogue.
Shannon Burke-Kranzberg
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-reads
i wanted to like this book, but it was a lot of random observations/descriptions. while that has a place and has merit, i was looking for a more in-depth discussion of the issues faces the amazing cultures he explores. this was just okay - lacking substance for me.
Leah
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Abandoned at 10%. The blurb led me to think this was going to be an environmental book - turns out it's a not terribly well written travelogue. Not my kind of thing.
Bryant Mcnamara
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting - well written at times yet felt very disjointed.
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