This is a poetic book about one man's adventures in wilderness areas all over the world. The author, a traveler and naturalist who collected specimens for the American Museum of Natural History and has been a hunter and trapper and even, in his youth, a mining engineer, feels strongly that there is a quality of wilderness ""that stretches the spirit and the mind,"" and that gradually the increase in the world's population is driving the wilderness out of existence. ""A wilderness is a temple that cannot be rebuilt like a bombed-out cathedral,"" he warns, and recreates in great detail his various experiences in the East Indies hunting the last surviving dragons, in Nicaragua looking for a lost silver mine, in the Indo-China jungle, and on the Sino-Mongolian frontier before World War I. Especially the book deals with our own remaining wilderness area, Alaska, to which the first six chapters are devoted. The color, vividness, and excitement of Mr. Burden's battles with the world of nature may bring him many converts to his point of view.