Swimming Lessons: Keeping Afloat In The Age Of Technology

Hardcover | January 15, 2002

byDavid Ehrenfeld

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 ...

David Ehrenfeld is at Rutgers University.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:January 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195148525

ISBN - 13:9780195148527

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Table of Contents

Part 1: The Lies We LiveBrainstormingPretendingThe Magic of the InternetNothing SimpleSherlock, Nero, and UsPart 2: Wrecking Our Civilization: A ManualRejecting GiftsAdaptationForecast: Chilly, Overcast, Light Drizzle, No People LeftPseudocommunitiesObsolescenceSocial Evolution versus Sudden ChangeWritingPart 3: Deadly EconomicsAffluence and AusterityDurable GoodsSpending Our CapitalSaving by SellingHot Spots and the Globalization of ConservationThe Gingko and the StumpThe Death PenaltyPart 4: Relating to Nature in a Manmade WorldThe Vine CleanersA Connoisseur of NatureDeath of a Plastic PalmScientific Discoveries and Nature's MysteriesI Reinvent AgricultureThinking about Breeds and SpeciesTeaching Field EcologyMore Field Ecology: Rightofway IslandA Walk in the WoodsDegrees of IntimacyPart 5. Restoring the CommunityThe Utopia FallacyTraditionsJane Austen and the World of the CommunityUniversities and Their CommunitiesAn Invalid's GuideSwimming LessonsBibliography and Suggested ReadingsIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Ehrenfeld, who eschews corporate funding, is independent-minded. He writes about big ideas - vanishing species, globalization, genetic engineering and a diminishing "sense of place" are among his favorite topics. He is not afraid of complexity. ... Throughout, Ehrenfeld conveys a sense ofcalm and authority. The text is stunning in its use of visual imagery, pace and varying sentence structure."--The Newark Star-Ledger