In a world where we measure animals by human standards, prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina takes us inside their minds, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought and emotion.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you?
Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behaviour to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and animals. Travelling to the threatened landscape of Kenya to witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then on to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack's personal tragedy, the book finally plunges into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest. Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity's place in the world.
Carl Safina's writing about the living world has won a MacArthur "genius" prize, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships; book awards from Lannan, Orion, and the National Academies; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He has studied seabirds, worked to ban high-seas drift nets and to overhaul U.S. fishing policy. Safina is now the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University and he runs the not-for-profit Safina Center. He is author of the classic book, Song for the Blue Ocean. He lives on Long Island, New York with his wife Patricia and their dogs and feathered friends.
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