In the Company of Crows and Ravens John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell, Paul R. Ehrlich

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
28 Mar 2007
ISBN:
9780300122558
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
408 pages: 235 x 178mm
Illustrations:
108 b-w illus.

From the cave walls at Lascaux to the last painting by Van Gogh, from the works of Shakespeare to those of Mark Twain, there is clear evidence that crows and ravens influence human culture. Yet this influence is not unidirectional, say the authors  of this fascinating book: people profoundly influence crow culture, ecology, and evolution as well. Examining the often surprising ways that crows and humans interact, John Marzluff and Tony Angell contend that those interactions reflect a process of “cultural coevolution.” They offer a challenging new view of the human-crow dynamic—a view that may change our thinking not only about crows but also about ourselves.

Featuring more than 100 original drawings, the book takes a close look at the influences people have had on the lives of crows throughout history and at the significant ways crows have altered human lives. In the Company of Crows and Ravens illuminates the entwined histories of crows and people and concludes with an intriguing discussion of the crow-human relationship and how our attitudes toward crows may affect our cultural trajectory. As the authors state in their preface: “Crows and people share similar traits and social strategies. To a surprising extent, to know the crow is to know ourselves."




John M. Marzluff is Denman Professor of Sustainable Resource Sciences and professor of wildlife science, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington. Tony Angell is a freelance artist and writer in Lopez Island, Washington. Together the authors combine more than 60 years of scientific and artistic fascination with crows and their bird relatives.

"A fascinating look at the corvid family, illustrated with Mr. Angell’s delightful black-and-white drawings."—Stuart Ferguson, Wall Street Journal


"There is a wealth of folklore, biology and anecdote here about all species of crows – a cornucopia of corvid memorabilia. This is a well-researched, fascinating book to read, evocatively illustrated by Angell’s charming idiosyncratic scraperboards."—Tim Birkhead, Times Literary Supplement


"[A] superb study that should deepen our understanding, and perhaps appreciation, of these fascinating birds."—Library Journal


"[A] superb study that should deepen our understanding, and perhaps appreciation, of these fascinating birds. . . . These intrepid researchers go to extraordinary lengths. . . . Though Angell’s more than 100 charming drawings and the authors’ zest for their subjects may lend In the Company of Crows and Ravens popular appeal, this is a serious book well suited for academic or large public collections."—Library Journal


". . . intriguing and inspiring insights . . . rich tapestry of folklore and science . . . comprehensive account of the impact of crows on human culture."—Joanna Dally, Science


"This is a work bursting with fresh ideas, rich in speculation, while also managing to survey, in highly accessible terms, the full spectrum of research into this fascinating bird group."—BBC Wildlife Magazine


"A solid volume . . . [with] a vast amount of fascinating and provocative material . . ."—Birds


"Engrossing."—Rebecca Solnit, London Review of Books


". . . a book rich in descriptive language and juicy with insight and biological detail."—New Scientist


Semi-finalist and recipient of Honorable Mention for the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Environment/Ecology/Nature category


Winner of the 2006 Washington State Book Award


Winner of First Prize for the Victoria and Albert Museum Illustration Award


"Crows and ravens stir up much interest, precisely for the reasons John Marzluff and Tony Angell give in this handsomely illustrated work."—Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven


"With engaging prose and compelling art, the authors tell us how our interactions with other species, especially crows and ravens, have influenced both us and them over the ages. . . . If you believe that we have great impacts on other species but that they have influenced us relatively little, then you should read this delightfully written and illustrated book."—Gordon H. Orians, University of Washington


"Throughout human history, crows have been reviled and revered in equal measure. Now the corvids of folklore and fable are living up to their reputation for cleverness, trickery and ingenuity. Marzluff and Angell's wonderful book is a user's guide to the biology and culture of these fascinating animals and a testament to man's affinity with nature."—Nathan Emery, University of Cambridge


"Members of the crow family (corvids), which include ravens, jays and magpies, as well crows, have the reputation of being mischievous, machaevellian creatures, who steal other birds' eggs and raid agricultural crops. But these corvids are also renowned for their wisdom as well as their deceit. This fascinating book describes not only the role corvids have played in our folklore but more generally how corvids have influenced human culture and the impact of humans on corvids. I hope this book will afford corvids the respect they deserve."—Nicola Clayton, University of Cambridge


"This is the most detailed account I know of concerning crows and their interaction with man. A very readable and thought-provoking book!"—Noble S. Proctor, Ph.D., author of Manual of Ornithology and A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife



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