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From the Publisher
"An intriguing...perspective on rewilding."
"This book is a delight. MacKinnon shows us afresh the world we thought we knew through a kaleidoscopic lens of startling facts, illuminating insight and flat-out wonderful writing."
—John Vaillant, author of The Tiger
"This book should make your blood run cold; or boil with furious rage against the despoilers of our planet. But perhaps all is not yet lost. MacKinnon tells us that the crisis in the natural world is not yet fatal…but it’s waiting. And then he tells us most convincingly what we can and must do to stop the rot. This is a handbook for those who hope to see the Earth, and Man, remain alive together."
—Farley Mowat, author of Never Cry Wolf
"MacKinnon pinpoints a necessary shift in our reckoning with nature, writing eloquently of the need for a more authentic interaction between human beings and the natural world."
—Bernd Heinrich, author of Winter World, Mind of the Raven, and Life Everlasting
"In The Once and Future World, J. B. MacKinnon shows us that while wilderness as we know it may be gone forever, wildness can still be recovered, and it is time to get to work."
—George Dyson, author of Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
"MacKinnon is an eloquent guide through landscapes wild and tame. He takes the reader backwards through evolutionary time and forward into a delicate and unknown future. I devoured this book in a day and closed its covers marveling at our planet's incredible abundance. Natural history at its best."
—Charlotte Gill, author of Eating Dirt
"J.B. MacKinnon is one of the finest essayists of the natural world writing today."
—Andrew D. Blechman, author of Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga
"A gripping and convincing look at the nature that humans lost and the perspective that we gained. MacKinnon leaves us wanting to be wilder."
—Jennifer Jacquet, Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies at NYU
"A re-enchantment with the natural world may be a necessary prerequisite to the changes we must make to keep that natural world more or less intact. This is deep and lovely thinking and writing."
—Bill McKibben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
"It seems like a common enough supposition these days to say that man’s relationship with nature is an adversarial one, or, at best, a détente in which our rapacious inclinations are kept in check by conservationism or certain kinds of morality. But this hasn’t always been the case. Once, when religion and ecology were one and the same, it was assumed that Earth was an inexhaustible Garden of Eden, specifically designed for the use and enjoyment of humanity. In his new book The Once and Future World, J.B. MacKinnon, author of Dead Man in Paradise, gives a highly readable history of man’s relationship with nature, both how we think about it and interact with it, and argues for a “rewilding” of natural spaces to turn back the tide of ecological destruction. His goal here is to break down distinctions of nature as something apart from us, and his case is buttressed not only by a wealth of scientific investigation but also by some of the best writing about the outdoors that you’ll find anywhere. Describing the prairie on which he was raised, Mackinnon writes: 'You’d smell sage and the vanilla scent of Ponderosa pine bark, and you’d hear meadowlarks, and the bunchgrass would rustle like the restless dead … The breeze would suck across the hilltop balds where it has carried away the soil and leave you blinking as it dried your windward eye.'"--The Daily Beast