The Myth of Wild Africa: Conservation Without Illusion

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Most people would feel a great loss if elephants, hippos, or gorillas were to become extinct, with photographs and fossils our only record of their existence. But would we willingly move our families, change our means of earning a living, and disrupt our culture merely to preserve some large mammal? Many African peoples are being asked to do just this by the world community, without any respect for the fact that these tribes have lived on their land for hundreds of years, if not longer. And they have lived on ...
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Overview

Most people would feel a great loss if elephants, hippos, or gorillas were to become extinct, with photographs and fossils our only record of their existence. But would we willingly move our families, change our means of earning a living, and disrupt our culture merely to preserve some large mammal? Many African peoples are being asked to do just this by the world community, without any respect for the fact that these tribes have lived on their land for hundreds of years, if not longer. And they have lived on this land with wildlife as their neighbors, not their enemies, until recently. Jonathan S. Adams and Thomas O. McShane report on how Western conservation has helped sabotage the precarious balance between wildlife and Africans. They break with traditional conservation, which saves animals at the cost of people, and cut through our mythic images of an unadorned, pristine jungle to create a portrait of the real and complex land. The authors debunk the aura of some famous wildlife specialists, including Dian Fossey, and then explore the new directions of a joint African/Western approach to conservation that hopes eventually to give control back to the African nations. They envision a new conservation in which people and their needs are brought back into the equation, but the animals are not abandoned.
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Editorial Reviews

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The authors report on how Western conservation has helped sabotage the precarious balance between wildlife and Africans. They break with traditional conservation, which saves animals at the cost of people, and explore a new, joint African/Western approach to conservation that hopes eventually to give control back to the African nations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393033960
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author


Jonathan S. Adams is a conservationist and writer living in Washington, D.C. Thomas O. McShane is program officer for Africa in the World Wide Fund for Nature.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. I A Myth is Born 3
Ch. II Hunters 25
Ch. III Serengeti Shall Not Die? 37
Ch. IV Save the Elephants! 59
Ch. V The Scientists Take Over 85
Ch. VI Conservation Pollution 109
Ch. VII Miles and Miles of Bloody Africa 122
Ch. VIII Striking a Balance 139
Ch. IX Living with Conservation 160
Ch. X Gorillas in Their Midst 184
Ch. XI Conservation without Myth 207
Ch. XII Who Says Africans Don't Care? 227
Afterword 249
Bibliography 263
Index 271
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