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Insectopedia

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Hardcover published by Pantheon (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book

A New York Times Notable Book

A stunningly original exploration of the ties that bind us to the beautiful, ancient, astoundingly accomplished, largely unknown, and unfathomably different species with whom we share the world.
 
For as long as humans have existed, insects have been our constant companions. Yet we hardly know them, not even the ones we’re closest to: those that eat our food, share our beds, and live in our homes. Organizing his book alphabetically, Hugh Raffles weaves together brief vignettes, meditations, and extended essays, taking the reader on a mesmerizing exploration of history and science, anthropology and travel, economics, philosophy, and popular culture. Insectopedia shows us how insects have triggered our obsessions, stirred our passions, and beguiled our imaginations.

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A New York Times Notable Book

A stunningly original exploration of the ties that bind us to the beautiful, ancient, astoundingly accomplished, largely unknown, and unfathomably different species with whom we share the world.
 
For as long as humans have existed, insects have been our constant companions. Yet we hardly know them, not even the ones we’re closest to: those that eat our food, share our beds, and live in our homes. Organizing his book alphabetically, Hugh Raffles weaves together brief vignettes, meditations, and extended essays, taking the reader on a mesmerizing exploration of history and science, anthropology and travel, economics, philosophy, and popular culture. Insectopedia shows us how insects have triggered our obsessions, stirred our passions, and beguiled our imaginations.

Product Details
Hardcover (480 pages)
Published: March 23, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Pantheon
ISBN: 9780375423864
Other books byHugh Raffles
  • In Amazonia

    In Amazonia
    A Natural History
    The Amazon is not what it seems. As Hugh Raffles shows us in this captivating and innovative book, the world's last great wilderness has been transformed again and again by human activity. InAmazoniabrings to life an Amazon whose allure and reality lie as much, or more, in what people have made of it as in what nature has wrought. It casts new light on centuries of encounter while describing the dramatic remaking of a sweeping landscape by residents of one small community in the Brazilian Amazon. Combining richly textured ethnographic research and lively historical analysis, Raffles weaves a fascinating story that changes our understanding of this region and challenges us to rethink what we mean by "nature." Raffles draws from a wide range of material to demonstrate--in contrast to the tendency to downplay human agency in the Amazon--that the region is an outcome of the intimately intertwined histories of humans and nonhumans. He moves between a detailed narrative that analyzes the production of scientific knowledge about Amazonia over the centuries and an absorbing account of the extraordinary transformations to the fluvial landscape carried out over the past forty years by the inhabitants of Igarap Guariba, four hours downstream from the nearest city. Engagingly written, theoretically inventive, and vividly illustrated, the book introduces a diverse range of characters--from sixteenth-century explorers and their native rivals to nineteenth-century naturalists and contemporary ecologists, logging company executives, and river-traders. A natural history of a different kind, InAmazoniashows how humans, animals, rivers, and forests all participate in the making of a region that remains today at the center of debates in environmental politics.

    Insect Theatre

    Insect Theatre
    Through the Insect Theatre collection Tim Edgar provides an eye-opening commentary on the spectacle of the everyday and the insects that we reside with. The photographs are contextualised in the essays by anthropologist Hugh Raffles, who discusses the life and death situations in the cobweb and the chaos in the domestic insect world.

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