On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galapagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden

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Product Details
Yale University Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 1.3 X 9.4 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author
Elizabeth Hennessy is a geographer and assistant professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is on the steering committee of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment.
"Fresh, insightful . . . Hennessy's melding of human and natural history makes for thought-provoking reading."--Nancy Bent, Booklist, starred review
"'Gripping . . . well-researched and thought-provoking.' She concludes that, 'whether you're well-versed in the intricacies of conservation or have only just begun to long for a look at the tortoises yourself. On the Backs of Tortoises is a natural history that asks important questions, and challenges us to think about how best to answer them.'"--Genevieve Valentine, NPR
Finalist for the 2020 E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, sponsored by PEN America Literary Awards
"Wonderfully interesting, informative, and engaging, as well as scholarly."--Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin: Voyaging and Charles Darwin: The Power of Place
"Timely, fresh, and compelling. . .a must-read for anyone interested in the environmental history of the Galapagos and tortoise conservation."--Jamie Lorimer, University of Oxford, author of Wildlife in the Anthropocene: Conservation after Nature
"Hennessy's book isn't just about the controversial efforts to preserve the world's most famous tortoises--it also provides an expansive tour de force of Darwinian ideas, the Galapagos, human entanglements in evolution, and the risks of icon-making."--Daniel Lewis, author of Belonging on an Island: Birds, Extinction, and Evolution in Hawai'i
"Hennessy's enthralling history of the iconic Galápagos Islands focuses on the tortoises after which they are named to deftly unpack the contradictions of global conservation in the name of science."--Claudia Leal, author of Landscapes of Freedom: Building a Postemancipation Society in the Rainforests of Western Colombia
"Hennessy finds that even though this archipelago is 97% a national park, humans can no longer consider themselves distinct from nature, but rather are an inseparable part of it with consequences for the identity of each."--Deborah Cramer, author of The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey