A passionately rendered update on our faltering environmental stability.



Veteran wildlife journalist Stolzenburg considers the Earth’s increasingly compromised plant and animal ecosystems.

His enthusiastic debut plumbs ecological experiments relating to the predator-prey dynamic, showing how its disruption directly affects life’s diversity. Most germane to his point are “predator eradication” case studies of places where vital, top-of-the-heap carnivorous animals have been systematically decimated. This caused a cumulative imbalance in unique ecological landscapes and left “second-order predators” in charge. Since the decimation of one species directly affects the propagation of another, these disparities incited a food-chain reaction that threw off track delicate ecological soundness and biodiversity. Stolzenburg adroitly documents scores of other dangerous disproportions. Cruel, obliterative efforts to eradicate the wolf population that once thrived in Yellowstone National Park, for example, sparked a resulting surge in the elk and white-tailed deer population, which was responsible for whittling down young saplings, trampling forest undergrowth, deteriorating river banks and a spike in the prevalence of Lyme-disease-harboring deer ticks. The ocean floors of southwestern Alaska and the North Pacific coast have been stripped of kelp by hungry sea urchins, due to an absence of sea otters whose numbers have been lessened greatly by migrating killer whales. The songbird population has been compromised, the author notes, by the proliferation of such mid-sized predators as raccoons, opossums and black crows. Overly aggressive industrial fishing of Atlantic cod and bluefin tuna has made these species yet another “casualty of the agricultural age.” Stolzenburg’s fact-heavy parlance can be dry and overly didactic, but there’s no quarreling with his cautionary message: Unless measures are taken to preserve what remains of a badly deteriorating ecosystem, there could be dire consequences for planet Earth in the very near future.

A passionately rendered update on our faltering environmental stability.

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59691-229-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?


This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet