Swimming Lessons : Keeping Afloat in the Age of Technology / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $20.31   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   


Never in history has life been so complicated and full of sudden changes. Technology, the environment, and the way we work and relate to one another are all in upheaval. With wit, humor, a calm voice, and great authority, Swimming Lessons gives a clear view of what our world has become - not just our successes, but also the destruction set loose by our own genius and inventions. In addition, it offers practical, non-utopian suggestions for keeping afloat in the dangerous waters of the 21st century's globalized civilization.
Whether it is describing a comical brainstorming session in a Washington boardroom or a close encounter with an Alaskan grizzly and her cubs, Swimming Lessons is a delight to read. Trained in history, medicine, and zoology, David Ehrenfeld brings a grand perspective to his challenging task. He writes not just as a scientist, but as one who values and understands the social sciences and humanities as well. In the first half of Swimming Lessons, we learn to recognize the lies we live: about education, new military weapons systems, biotechnology, electronic pseudocommunities, and accelerated obsolescence. We also learn about the deadly corporate economics that affect every aspect of our lives, even environmental conservation. The second half reveals the pitfalls and opportunities in the main tasks we face: relating to nature in a manmade world and restoring our damaged communities.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With wit, humor, a calm voice, and great authority, Swimming lessons gives a clear view of what our world has become ... a delight to read. ... David Ehrenfeld fills the chapters of Swimming lessons with remarkable and often moving stories from his own life and the lives of his wife and children, colleagues, and students."—Ethology, Ecology and Evolution

"Ehrenfeld, who eschews corporate funding, is independent-minded. He writes about big ideas - vanishing species, globalization, genetic engineering and a diminishing "sense of place" are among his favorite topics. He is not afraid of complexity. ... Throughout, Ehrenfeld conveys a sense of calm and authority. The text is stunning in its use of visual imagery, pace and varying sentence structure."—The Newark Star-Ledger

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195148527
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1260L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rutgers University
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Lies We Live
The Magic of the Internet
Nothing Simple
Sherlock, Nero, and Us
Part 2: Wrecking Our Civilization: A Manual
Rejecting Gifts
Forecast: Chilly, Overcast, Light Drizzle, No People Left
Social Evolution versus Sudden Change
Part 3: Deadly Economics
Affluence and Austerity
Durable Goods
Spending Our Capital
Saving by Selling
Hot Spots and the Globalization of Conservation
The Gingko and the Stump
The Death Penalty
Part 4: Relating to Nature in a Manmade World
The Vine Cleaners
A Connoisseur of Nature
Death of a Plastic Palm
Scientific Discoveries and Nature's Mysteries
I Reinvent Agriculture
Thinking about Breeds and Species
Teaching Field Ecology
More Field Ecology: Rightofway Island
A Walk in the Woods
Degrees of Intimacy
Part 5. Restoring the Community
The Utopia Fallacy
Jane Austen and the World of the Community
Universities and Their Communities
An Invalid's Guide
Swimming Lessons
Bibliography and Suggested Readings

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)