Never in history has life been so complicated and full of sudden changes. Technology, the environment, and the way we work and relate to one another are all in upheaval. With wit, humor, a calm voice, and great authority, Swimming Lessons gives a clear view of what our world has become - notjust our successes, but also the destruction set loose by our own genius and inventions. In addition, it offers practical, non-utopian suggestions for keeping afloat in the dangerous waters of the 21st century's globalized civilization. Whether it is describing a comical brainstorming session in a Washington boardroom or a close encounter with an Alaskan grizzly and her cubs, Swimming Lessons is a delight to read. Trained in history, medicine, and zoology, David Ehrenfeld brings a grand perspective to his challenging task. Hewrites not just as a scientist, but as one who values and understands the social sciences and humanities as well. In the first half of Swimming Lessons, we learn to recognize the lies we live: about education, new military weapons systems, biotechnology, electronic pseudocommunities, and acceleratedobsolescence. We also learn about the deadly corporate economics that affect every aspect of our lives, even environmental conservation. The second half reveals the pitfalls and opportunities in the main tasks we face: relating to nature in a manmade world and restoring our damagedcommunities.