The Richness of Life
Edited by Steven Rose, W W Norton, US $15
Stephen Jay Gould had a way with metaphors. He could coax a lesson about evolutionary process out of the most disparate detail from art, architecture or baseball. That virtuosity made the paleontologist and Harvard professor one of the most loved science popularisers of the 20th century. The nearly 650 pages of writing collected here introduce Gould’s lifetime of influential thought in his own celebrated literary style.
Courage for the earth
Edited by Peter Matthiessen, Houghton Mifflin, Rs 600
The famously demure Carson would probably have been embarrassed by the lengthy praise, but this synthesis of eclectic voices is a fitting tribute to a woman who taught the world to see things as a whole. Environmentalist, writer, zoologist, civil servant—Rachel Carson wore many hats in her lifetime. This collection celebrates exactly that, with essays ranging from the sweeping cultural-historical (E.O. Wilson) to the intimately personal (Robert Michael Pyle), to the politically instructive (Al Gore).
Northeast India, Local economic development and global markets
edited by Hans Peter Brunner, Sage, Rs 695
Analysing the historical factors responsible for the economic failure of India’s Northeast region—the partition in 1947, weak infrastructure, lack of technological knowhow and poor access to marketing networks—this collection discusses the comparative advantages of the region vis-à-vis the rest of India.