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What do you think of when you think of Nature?
Prolific author and National Geographic writer Doug Chadwick’s fresh look at human’s place in the natural world. In his accessible and engaging style, Chadwick approaches the subject from a scientific angle, with the underlying message that from the perspective of DNA humans are not all that different from any other creature. He begins by showing the surprisingly close relationship between human DNA and that of grizzly bears, with whom we share 80 percent of our DNA. We are 60 percent similar to a salmon, 40 percent the same as many insects, and 24 percent of our genes match those of a wine grape. He reflects on the value of exposure to nature on human biochemistry and mentality, that we are not that far removed from our ancestors who lived closer to nature.
He highlights examples of animals using “human” traits, such as tools and play. He ends the book with two examples of the healing benefits of turning closer to nature: island biogeography and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. This book is a reflection on man’s rightful place in the ecological universe. Using personal stories, recounting how he came to love and depend on the Great Outdoors and how he learned his place in the system of Nature, Chadwick challenges anyone to consider whether they are separate from or part of nature.
The answer is obvious, that we are an indivisible from all elements of a system that is greater than ourselves and should never be neglected, taken advantage of, or exploited. This is a fresh and engaging take on man’s relationship to nature by a respected and experienced author.
A Note From the Publisher
“Four-Fifths a Grizzly is the best sort of science education: we are ushered on a delightful, personal journey into the ecosphere—which includes us—and come out the other side with an unshakable sense of wonder at the planet, and with renewed inspiration to put the profoundness of it all into action.”– Broughton Coburn, bestselling author of Mountain Without Mercy
“If this book were only beautifully written and gloriously illustrated, that would already be a lot to recommend it. But it also taught me a huge amount and offered threads of hope. It is a transfixing read.” – Dame Alison Richard, anthropologist, conservationist and former Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University
“ET needed to phone home. So do we all. We need to get in touch with our ultimate Mom because we too often forget our place in the cosmos. That’s a big reason for the trouble we make. This book has the number to call. It also has humor, humility, and eloquent storytelling. It is five-fifths important.”– William deBuys, author of The Trail to Kanjiroba: Rediscovering Earth in an Age of Loss
“I have long been curious about the collapse of civilizations. Why do they collapse? What are the commonalities between them? Why do we humans make the same mistakes over and over again leading toward our own destruction? I think Doug Chadwick’s book addresses one of the central misconceptions we have about our relationship to nature - We humans are a part of the circle of life, not found in the center but rather as part of the whole. Chadwick hones in on this simple yet fundamental fact – history will repeat itself if we’re not willing to understand that everything is connected to everything else.” – Kris Tompkins, founder of Tompkins Conservation, American conservationist, and former CEO of Patagonia
“What sets Four-Fifths a Grizzly apart from other books on the place of humankind in nature are the remarkable, and abundant, first hand adventure stories. Whether he’s breathlessly reporting on the challenges for the mountain goat of life on a precipice in the Rockies, or on the unruliness of the swarming ants from the Australian bush, or on the surprised expressions of the chimpanzees he stumbled upon during an expedition to the Congo, you can be sure that Douglas Chadwick has seen it himself.” – Mark W. Moffett, ecologist, explorer, and author of The Human Swarm and Adventures Among Ants
“Doug Chadwick enchants our brains with his field-hardened observations of nature in the raw and our hearts through his meditations on what a wild strawberry can tell us about our place in the cosmos. With quirky but deeply insightful prose, marvelously complemented by carefully curated photographs, he serves up both a feast for the eyes and a life-changing insight into who we really are. Four-Fifths a Grizzly is a career-capping tour de force by one of the world's great natural science writers.” – Harvey Locke, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas task force leader and co-founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
“Douglas Chadwick is among my favorite nature writers in the world today. Whether it is a short article in the National Geographic, a coffee table book about the magnificent Rockies or a full-length tract on the fate of wild elephants, he can bring nature alive through sparkling prose while being scientifically accurate. In this rare volume, Chadwick ventures far more deeply and widely than before into the world of science: He succeeds brilliantly in portraying how animal biology works from microscopic to macro-ecological scales. A superb, educative and compelling read.” – Ullas Karanth, tiger conservation expert and former director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s India Program
“Doug Chadwick has a way of distilling a large amount of knowledge and explaining it in a way that both the public and scientists can appreciate. Without shying away from the challenges humans face, he provides a hopeful message of our kinship with all life, and the sorts of approaches needed to work towards a better future.” – John Hechtel, bear biologist
"In Four-Fifths a Grizzly, Chadwick shows us that the human experience and the natural world are not merely irrevocably intertwined but that they are, in fact, one and the same. Full of intrigue, wisdom, jaw-dropping stories, heart-break and despair, inspiration and entertainment, this book often reads like a novel and leaves the reader with the one powerful tool we humans will need to combat the challenges that lie ahead - hope." – Rachel Langer, life and leadership coach
National media appearances including, print, online, radio & podcasts
Readers & Teachers Guides available
Audiobook forthcoming from Penguin Random House
Virtual Author Events:
Country Bookshelf - June 15, 6:30pm PT / 9:30pm ET
Tattered Cover Bookstore - June 16 at 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET
Patagonia - June 22 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET
Book Passage - July 13 at 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET