The Once and Future World
Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be
From one of Canada's most exciting writers and ecological thinkers, a book that changes the way we see nature and shows that in restoring the living world, we are also restoring ourselves.
The Once and Future World began in the moment J.B. MacKinnon realized the grassland he grew up on was not the pristine wilderness he had always believed it to be. Instead, his home prairie was the outcome of a long history of transformation, from the disappearance of the grizzly bear to the introduction of cattle. What remains today is an illusion of the wild--an illusion that has in many ways created our world.
In three beautifully drawn parts, MacKinnon revisits a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North America and 20 times more whales swim in the sea. He traces how humans destroyed that reality, out of rapaciousness, yes, but also through a great forgetting. Finally, he calls for an "age of restoration," not only to revisit that richer and more awe-filled world, but to reconnect with our truest human nature. MacKinnon never fails to remind us that nature is a menagerie of marvels. Here are fish that pass down the wisdom of elders, landscapes still shaped by "ecological ghosts," a tortoise that is slowly remaking prehistory. "It remains a beautiful world," MacKinnon writes, "and it is its beauty, not its emptiness, that should inspire us to seek more nature in our lives."
About this Author
J.B. MacKINNON's most recent work of non-fiction is The Once and Future World, a national bestseller that was nominated for every major non-fiction prize in Canada, and won the US Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. His previous bestseller, The 100-Mile Diet, cowritten with Alisa Smith, catalysed the local foods movement, and inspired a Food Network TV series, cohosted by MacKinnon, that aired in 30 countries. Currently an adjunct professor at UBC Graduate School of Journalism, MacKinnon is a regular contributor to such influential publications as The New Yorker and The Atlantic; his journalism has also appeared in National Geographic, among many other publications, including most of Canada's major outlets. He's won a dozen National Magazine Awards, as well as several U.S.-based awards (most recently an AAAS-Kavli Award for Science), and the Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction for his first book, Dead Man in Paradise. He lives in Vancouver with his partner, Alisa Smith.
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