Chronicles the history of the Mediterranean, examining how the region became the source of Western society and revealing man’s changing attitudes toward the natural world
From Publishers Weekly
Life on Earth and The Living Planet were print companions to Attenborough’s highly acclaimed television series; in this lavishly illustrated volume, also a TV tie-in, he focuses on the cradle of Western civilization, tracing the life of the Mediterranean from salt bed to lush paradise and its ultimate exploitation. History, natural history and archeology come together in a narrative that portrays the changing attitudes of mankind toward the environment. Attenborough surveys early plant and animal life; he discusses climatic changes, noting that today the hostile season is summer. An examination of prehistoric cave drawings leads to the subject of animal gods and sacrificial worship. The domestication of the horse opened the doors to wars and migration; Attenborough chronicles the movements in both directions from the Huns to the Crusaders and, finally, looks at more recent despoliation. The final chapter locates pockets of Edenareas of preservation. BOMC and QPBC main selections.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The First Eden accompanies this fall’s PBS series on the natural history of that most lived-in of landscapes, the Mediterranean world. Humankind accordingly plays a larger role here than in Attenborough’s Life on Earth ( LJ 11/1/81) but is seen in terms of plants and animals; the ancient animal gods of Egypt, Crete, and Rome; medieval bestiaries; and the devastation of the French vineyards in 1863 are among the topics discussed. Some of Attenborough’s connections, such as the ecological impact of the Crusades, are tenuous, and his knowledge of history can be patchy. But he shines when describing interesting animals, such as the Egyptian fruit bat. The illustrations are glorious.
- Publisher : Little, Brown; 1st edition (January 1, 1987)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316057509
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316057509
- Item Weight : 1.84 pounds
- The Malthus Insight and the Global Limits of “Green Revolution” Food Production
- “Rubbish and Racism: Problems of Boundary in an Ecosystem,” The Yale Review (1971 & 1983).
- Agents of Empire: Steps Toward an Ecology of Imperialism
- A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization: John Perlin
- The Mediterranean Valleys: Geological Changes in Historical Times: Claudio Vita-Finzi
- Environmental Problems of the Greeks and Romans: Ecology in the Ancient Mediterranean
- Maps, Stones & Plants: Agents of Empire and the Ecology of the Atlantic Trade
- The Ecology of the Ancient Greek World
- Malaria and Rome: A History of Malaria in Ancient Italy: Robert Sallares
- Soils, Climate and Society: Archaeological Investigations in Ancient America: John D. Wingard, Sue Eileen Hayes
- Trees and Timber in the Ancient Mediterranean World (Oxford Reprints): Russell Meiggs
- Denis Noble on The Ghosts of Holywell Manor
- Charts, Books, Maps, & Prints: Imagining and Representing “The Other” on a Small Planet