Forestry Flavours of the Month


An accessible combination of policy analysis and reminiscences from a half-century–long forestry career.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

A retired forester recounts his experiences working with trees and the logging industry around the world.

In this blend of memoir and science, British author Fraser (Ghosts on the Somme, 2016, etc.) combines his personal experiences with broader economic, environmental, and policy questions to tell a story of forest management from the 1960s to the present. The author has worked with trees in Suriname, Nigeria, Thailand, and Indonesia, among other places, and offers travel stories in addition to details of the work assignments that brought him to the far-flung locales. His variety of professional experiences gives him the knowledge to critique forestry policies around the world as well as those of other related sectors, from poverty elimination to climate change strategy. The book presents a coherent, levelheaded take on sustainable forest management and on the role that forestry experts may play in policy discussions. To that end, Fraser offers examples from his own work and concrete recommendations for the future; for example, he notes that small logging enterprises and large multinationals may both succeed, but “intermediate scale” operations lose out in a globalized market. Although the narrative occasionally gets waylaid by overly complex sentences (“This first part of this story is more about Suriname than the sustainable management of tropical forests, but the reason for being in Suriname was to work out how to improve the management of their forests and that will come later”), it succeeds in engagingly presenting a unique perspective on global issues. Although the author is clearly well-versed in the details of forestry, he avoids jargon and provides clear explanations of key concepts, making the book accessible to nonspecialists. Fraser also does an excellent job of painting a vivid picture of the early decades of his career, when he tracked the paths of logging trucks without the aid of GPS and evaluated Soviet furniture manufacturing during the days of glasnost in the late 1980s.

An accessible combination of policy analysis and reminiscences from a half-century–long forestry career.

Pub Date: May 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5246-2890-1

Page Count: 228

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview