Lions in the Balance: Man-Eaters,Manes and Men with Guns (Hardback)Craig Packer (author)
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Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 440
Weight: 630 g
Dimensions: 234 x 161 x 20 mm
"Both timely and thrilling, this expose/memoir details the complexity (and moral ambiguity) of trophy-hunting. . . . Zigzagging through Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique, Packer takes us to backroom meetings at the Tanzania Wildlife Division's Ivory Room, gala dinners given by foreign hunting organizations, and out in the field to track lions. . . . What makes this book so engaging is the writing. Lions in the Balance is far from a dry dissertation; at times, it reads like a political thriller. . . . Packer has written a fascinating book exploring some controversial and emotional subjects. . . . Readers will come away from Lions in the Balance with a better understanding of the benefits and consequences of trophy hunting, as well as who wants lions, who doesn't, and why."--Christine Baleshta "Washington Independent Review of Books"
"Packer duly sets out to change the system, a lone maverick of sober-minded regulatory reform. . . . Lions in the Balance is itself a story about a loss of faith, and Packer's anti-romanticism is such that there is no ameliorative lesson to take from his exhausting, decades-long quest to reform a practice that will not be reformed. Hunters will not self-regulate; Tanzania's bureaucracy will not be tamed. Cattle ranchers will continue to kill lions and destroy habitats. . . . It's bracing, reading the end of Packer's text, to watch him wrestle with his own impotence. Exhausted, he sobs in front of his son, afraid for his own safety and that of his family. The Tanzanian government eventually forces him to abandon the Serengeti. In his quest to restructure incentives, in his willingness to take the long view, in his commitment to numbers over narrative, Packer deems himself 'ultimately alone.' As it seems he is."--Kerry Howley "New Yorker"
"Packer returns more than a decade after his memoir, Into Africa, with a fast-paced, unsentimental sequel about the kings of the savannah and the politics of protecting them."--Iris Barbier "Discover"
"There is only one Craig Packer; he ploughs his own furrow. Packer's work on lions and the Serengeti ecosystem . . . and his confrontations with officialdom will be familiar to most who have worked with (or read of) wildlife and conservation in Africa, but the Savannas Forever program was uniquely ambitious. Packer tells its story with unusual candor, laying out the facts, pulling no punches, revealing the corruption he observed in his dealings with the hunting fraternity in Tanzania--both among the operators themselves, and at all levels of government. Specific incidences are cited; the names of those involved are given. . . . The writing is highly commendable (even enviable!), the science and personal experience episodes beautifully done. I know of no other book like Lions in the Balance."--John Reader "author of Africa: A Biography of the Continent"
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