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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Good Reads  History & Other Humanities  Environmental History

Retreat of the Elephants An Environmental History of China

By: Mark Elvin
564 pages, Tabs, maps
Retreat of the Elephants
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  • Retreat of the Elephants ISBN: 9780300119930 Paperback Sep 2006 In stock
  • Retreat of the Elephants ISBN: 9780300101119 Hardback Dec 2004 Out of Print #144975
Selected version: £19.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Elvin chronicles the spread of the Chinese style of farming that eliminated the habitat of the elephants which once populated the country. He also describes the destruction of most of the forests, the impact of war on the landscape and the re-engineering of the countryside through water-control systems. He documents the histories of three contrasting localities within China to show how ecological dynamics defined the lives of the inhabitants.

Customer Reviews


Mark Elvin is professor of Chinese history at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra.

By: Mark Elvin
564 pages, Tabs, maps
Media reviews

"by far the best history of the interaction between the traditional Chinese and their surroundings [...] stupendously learned."
- Jonathan Mirsky, Literary Review

"majestic depth and brutal detail [...] a heavyweight work."
- Simon Barnes, The Times

"Masterly and engaging [...] Essential for those who want to understand the long sweep of Chinese history, and it will enhance the perspective of those who think they already understand it. A scholarly tour de force."
- J. R. McNeill, Wilson Quarterly

"Elvin combines an illuminating account of the 4000 year-long collision of humans and nature with delightful tidbits about everything under the Chinese sun [...] A magisterial work."
- Nicholas D. Kristof, Scientific American

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