This up-close, captivating look at an iconic animal traces our complex relationship to bears throughout history – and what they can tell us about ourselves.
On Being a Bear draws on history, legends, scientific studies, and the author's thirty years of observing bears around the world to offer a richly detailed biography of these iconic animals, including the many ways bears have figured in our lives and imaginations.
As author Rémy Marion tells us, some cultures view bears as our wild cousins – as humans cloaked in fur – while others cast bears as cuddly characters in cartoons or seek to eradicate their grizzled forms from civilization. Scientists have made new discoveries into bears' varied diets, their powerful sense of smell, and a mother bear's stubborn patience with her cubs. Bears play a vital role in our ecosystems, and new studies into bear hibernation could lead to medical breakthroughs for humans. Offering these and more astonishing insights, On Being a Bear brings readers face-to-face with these long admired, feared, and misunderstood animals, and sets the record straight through a combination of thrilling science and expert storytelling.
Rémy Marion is an author, photographer, and documentary filmmaker who has devoted his life to observing bears in the wild since the 1980s. Marion is a member of France’s national societies of geographers and explorers, and he is considered to be one of the country’s leading authorities on brown bears and polar bears.
"[T]here's plenty of entertaining biology and anthropology alike in these pages. Those with a fondness for our shaggy fellow mammals will enjoy Marion's wanderings in the world of bears."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Marion's obvious love for bears shines throughout this very readable primer on our ursine cousins."
"[A] holistic look at brown bears, black bears and polar bears [...] a celebration of all things bear."
– Hollywood Soapbox
"[On Being a Bear] delivers a precise and passionate account of the current state of bears wherever they live. It deserves a prominent place on the shelf of every serious lover of the ursus species."
– Bernd Brunner, author of Bears: A Brief History, Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds, and Winterlust: Finding Beauty in the Fiercest Season