Books about the world today and yesterday

Books about the world today and yesterday


EVOLUTION THE WHOLE STORY (Thames & Hudson £19.95). “I would rather be an off-spring of two apes than be a man and afraid to face the truth,” said one eminent Victorian. The book spans four million years. How did we get to where we are today? The guide sets out to explore the awe-inspiring range of biodiversity in the life of the planet, starting with the earliest life and ending with mammals. This is an endlessly fascinating book and. with more than 1,000 illustrations, absolutely ideal for the whole family, providing, as it does, an amazing variety of images, including fossils, skeletons, life-like constructions and living plants and animals.

WILD LIFE OF THE WORLD (Dorling Kindersley £25.00) is divided into the five continents and splendidly illustrated. It’s great dipping into it. The text is very accessible. The sheer variety of life constantly amazes. Each animal’s habitat is explored in detail and if you are not already an animal lover you will quickly become one. This is a good book for a child. Actually, it’s a good book for the whole family. The photography makes it very attractive

HUMAN A Portrait of Our World by Yaan Arthus-Bertrand (Thames & Hudson £19.95). Here you can find propaganda for a better world from the Goodplanet foundation based on 2,000 interviews from 70 countries. What is happiness? What is the meaning of life? These are big questions. What sort of job do you have? There are testimonies on Women’s Rights, War, Poverty, AIDS, Human Trafficking, Justice, Death Penalty and Tolerance. “Without forgiveness,” says Desmond Tutu, “there is no future.”

NEXTINCTION by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy (Bloomsbury £35). Endangered species get the full witty treatment from Steadman’s splattered coloured images and then there is the wit of Levy’s deadpan text. Are you absolutely certain you can tell the difference between what is real and what is fiction? You may have to ask the birds.  The result is often hilarious; but the whole point of the book is that the political caricaturist and the film-making conservationist are together delivering a very serious message.

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