Why people have to give a book one star only because it's "above their understanding" is beyond me. That one star should go to the reviewer, not to the book. Then, about five people gave this book rave reviews accompanied by two stars. ????? And then there were reviewers who first cited their multiple PhD's, BS's and Masters degrees, to show they are REAL scientists, and then went on to say that that is why they are all rattled and horrified by the simplicity and anthropomorphism of Wohlleben's approach.
Let's please grow up. A grey and dour, soulless "scientific" approach to a subject will not engage average mortals, and those are the ones who need to know. The wish for such an approach doesn't identify you as a scientist either; it identifies you as a grey and dour, soulless person with no interest in mystery. This book is not written for you.
This book is written for normal people, who are interested in trees and nature and not afraid of learning facts that upset their worldview, and who are willing to accept that there are things we cannot, yet or fully, explain. This relatively recent field, of the interconnectedness of trees and of the forest as a giant organism, is unbelievably interesting and will, no, must, have far reaching consequences for our thinking about the environment, and by extension for our thinking about ourselves. I am not a scientist, and I don't care for a purely scientific approach to life. I am also not afraid of anthropomorphism - it is a valuable tool for us humans (anthropoi) to understand the world around us. Already 2,500 years ago Protagoras revolutionized philosophical thinking by positing that "man is the measure of all things". For most of us, that will remain the norm for a long time to come.
Also, trees are not aliens, they are more like us than we think. There is a lot in the trees' behavior that they share with us. The need to survive powerfully and procreate is common between man and tree.
Wohlleben writes beautifully and lyrically. That is not a sin and doesn't take away from his being a consummate scientist. One can be a scientist and at the same time be in awe of mystery.
In a very recent interview with The Guardian, Wohlleben said "scientists over the last 200 years have taught us that nature works without soul.” This book successfully discredits that approach, which has been ready for the scrap heap for too long.
This is a terrific book that can be fascinating to scientists and non-scientists alike. It has enough footnotes to allow for wider study of the subject for the intellectually adventurous.
The collaboration of Wohlleben and Dr Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada has led to a TV documentary on the subject, "Intelligent Trees". The DVD is available on Amazon.
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Greystone Books,Canada (29 September 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1771642483
- ISBN-13: 978-1771642484
- Product Dimensions:: 14 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Customer reviews: 1,814 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 35,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)