Besides bringing together a couple of decades worth of literate, incisive forays into the natural world, this collection of essays from the prize-winning author of THE SONG OF THE DODO is both a wake-up call and a testimonial. Gathered in the main from magazine articles, in particular the authors 15 years of 'Natural Acts', a column in OUTSIDE magazine, Quammen reminds us of the many less quantifiable virtues of the wild that often get crushed in the path of so-called progress. Beginning with the Rocky Mountain trout that, as a young man, would change his life, and meandering through a variety of travels and experiences around the globe, he touches on issues of wildlife conservation, island biogeography and outdoor recreation. Quammen's articles are fascinating, surprising and often humorous, as he learns about the mountain lion by looking over the shoulder of a Montana Bow hunter and delights in the grace of white-water rodeo. Whether he is writing about hard science, art, literature, or the whims that colour our investigations of the world around us, David Quammen emerges as one of the most eloquent spokesmen and campaigners for nature.