"To take care of each other should be our primary concern in this 21st century and Father Dear is steady on this course."
--Thich Nhat Hanh
For John Dear, a Jesuit priest and respected leader of the ecumenical peace movement, the spiritual life is a combination of contemplation and action, of maintaining inner peace and projecting that peace into the greater world. It is the spirituality exemplified by the lives of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and others throughout history who remained true to the highest ideals while addressing the most difficult problems and conflicts of the real world.
As a tireless advocate for social justice and human rights, Dear has followed that path in his own life, and in Living Peace he describes his journey. Breaking down the life of peace into three parts an inner journey, a public journey, and the journey of all humanity he shares the spiritual practices that have sustained him and teaches readers how to integrate these practices into their own lives.
Before Audubon and Birds of America, there was Alexander Wilson and American Ornithology, a nine-volume work published between 1808 and 1814 that single-handedly transformed the study of birds in the wild and presaged the field guides of today. In addition to being the first to adopt the Linnaean system of binomial nomenclature to classify North American birds, Wilson was also one of the first to base his findings primarily on the "observation and description of live birds." By 1812, the Scottish poet had documented nearly 80% of bird species in the United States, and developed the discipline of "economic ornithology," whereby bird types are valued according to a kind of cost-benefit analysis (i.e. one that takes into account whether a bird is prone to destroy certain crops, whether they can be consumed, etc.). Burtt and Davis's text is largely uninspired and tedious, but what makes this book of such great value is the third chapter: "Illustrating American Ornithology." Composing over half of the book, this section features every illustration from Wilson's landmark publication. Alongside excerpts from Wilson's own commentary, the authors painstakingly detail how each sketch developed into its final iteration. A must-have for any serious bird-watcher. 146 color illus. & 6 tables.