Books by Diane Raines Ward

Released: Aug. 5, 2002

"Still, an informed discourse about the vital historical relationship between humans and water, and an overview of a possible global dilemma."
A warning about the worldwide struggle to manage water resources in an era of growing demand and climactic instability. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 30, 1993

From the coauthor of the mega-bestselling The Civil War: a mix of memoir, travelogue, and profiles of ``tiger-wallahs'' past and present working to save the Bengal Tiger. The subtitle's past tense is deliberate, for Ward sees the Indian tiger as most likely doomed to extinction, at least outside of zoos—a result of the disintegration of Project Tiger, the Indian government's ambitious program to create a string of tiger reservations, often by moving entire villages off their aboriginal lands. The program's failure, no surprise in India, has to do with lack of space: Buffalo farmers want the land for grazing, while the tigers, reacting to scarce food resources and territorial stress, have turned increasingly to man-eating— leading in turn to numerous tiger kills by frightened locals. Ward contrasts the present crisis with the richness of Indian wildlife when, in 1953, as a boy of 13, he moved with his family to India—and even more so with the 19th century, when tens of thousands of tigers roamed the forests. Amazingly, the first important effort to save the tiger came from famed early 20th- century hunter Jim Corbett, a kindly man who killed only man- eaters (the tigers had killed an estimated 1500 people) before turning to conservation. Corbett's legacy was carried on by Billy Arjan Singh, who created a tiger park single-handedly and now rehabilitates tigers and leopards for release into the jungle; Fateh Singh Rathore, who has endured beatings by locals and humiliation by the federal government to protect his reserves; and Valmik Thapar, who promotes reforestation and village rehabilitation as indirect ways of deflecting native poaching, which accounts for much tiger loss. Best in its biographies of the tiger-wallahs (which may send readers scurrying to Corbett's rip-roaring bestsellers of the 40's and 50's): a strong brief for a species on the executioner's block. (Seventy-five color, 25 b&w illustrations) Read full book review >