The Tree Where Man Was Born

Peter Matthiessen Jane Goodall

The Tree Where Man Was Born

The Tree Where Man Was Born

  • Title: The Tree Where Man Was Born
  • Author: Peter Matthiessen Jane Goodall
  • ISBN: 9780143106241
  • Page: 105
  • Format: Paperback

A timeless and majestic portrait of Africa by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen 1927 2014 , author of the National Book Award winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise A finalist for the National Book Award when it was released in 1972, this vivid portrait of East Africa remains as fresh and revelatory now as on the day it was first published Peter MatthiessA timeless and majestic portrait of Africa by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen 1927 2014 , author of the National Book Award winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise A finalist for the National Book Award when it was released in 1972, this vivid portrait of East Africa remains as fresh and revelatory now as on the day it was first published Peter Matthiessen exquisitely combines nature and travel writing to portray the sights, scenes, and people he observed firsthand in several trips over the course of a dozen years From the daily lives of wild herdsmen and the drama of predator kills to the field biologists investigating wild creatures and the anthropologists seeking humanity s origins in the rift valley, The Tree Where Man Was Born is a classic of journalistic observation This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by groundbreaking British primatologist Jane Goodall.For than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English speaking world With than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up to date translations by award winning translators.

Recent Comments "The Tree Where Man Was Born"

I purchased this book in anticipation of a journey to Africa. This chronicle is nonfiction, but it reads with the depth and intensity of poetry. Even though this book was written about the author’s experience and impressions of Africa on a series of trips in the 1960’s his insights remain timeless. The politics of Africa are convulsive and the boundaries of countries dynamic, but much of Tanzania and Kenya lands have been preserved and remain essentially the same as when Matthiessen visited [...]

The Tree Where Man Was Born is a series of belle lettres essays on various aspects of natural history and anthropology in northern Tanzania (with a bit of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya thrown in). It is good for its time, but it was Peter Matthiessen's blessing and curse to live in a time before Barry Lopez, who surpassed him in every possible way (blessing, because his star was not outshined, but cursed, because he was never able to enjoy the master's works). Unlike Lopez's works, I felt that this [...]

I read this when it first came out - over thirty years ago - and I'm inspired to read it again along with Matthiessen's Snow Leopard. This has absolutely gorgeous photos by Eliot Porter, of Sierra Club calendar fame.

I bought this book before I knew who Peter Matthiessen was, namely, one of the greatest nature writers of all time. Because of the book's title, I thought the author would tie present day East Africa to a by-gone era when man was primitive and evolving and nature ruled. I read the first one-hundred fifty pages and put it down for five years before returning to it. At that time, I was lost in my passion for the life and times of early man and not so interested in anything that rhymed with 'presen [...]

This one's a mixed bag, with long sections describing the ethnology of the various tribes and peoples in places totally obscure to me, which I found tough to follow. Am I glad though, that I did not give up on the book after the brutally lengthy third chapter, but grudgingly gave it another shot after a few weeks hiatus. For the following few chapters on the Serengeti and Masai Mara were amongst the best nature writing I have had the pleasure of reading. The author shows why he was so highly reg [...]

Peter Matthiesson died this year. He is one of my favorite authors. The Tree Where Man Was Born is my second favorite book of his (The Snow Leopard being the first), I read it before I went to Kenya in 1987. It may now be my second favorite book about Africa. From the 60s to the 80s Matthiesson made several trips to Tanzania to visit naturalists and conservationists. On the first he traveled from Khartoum to get there. His descriptions and attention to detail astound me. I can read his passages [...]

Absolutely beautiful. So descriptive and informative - this is the kind of travel writing I like. I love how Matthiessen was able to share his experiences in Africa without projecting his opinions on the reader, so that you get this wonderful idea of what it's like and can decide for yourself how you feel about it. There wasn't a drop of cynicism like I've found in a lot of other travel writing. I wish I'd read Out of Africa before this one though, because it's referenced a lot.

It takes less concentration to read work like this than it should. Although, a huge amount of learning is imparted, the material is handled so well that it seems to transport the reader directly on location. One of the loveliest things about the style was how easily emotion gets translated into the prose. Clearly, Africa is something the author feels within himself very deeply.

One of the best ever books I have read.

The finest book ever written about East Africa.

There was times reading this when I thought maybe I just didn't like nature writing. I mean sure, I like nature and I like writing - a lot in both cases - but I was pretty clear I didn't like this. As the book progressed, however, it became clearer that Mathiessen's award winner simply hasn't aged well.Like other writers in this genre, Mathiessen's book is based on his own observations, not detailed background research. His descriptions form the base of the book. Many of these involve predators [...]

This is an account of the author’s travels in Africa in the 60s. He travels across East Africa, mostly by himself or with others who are doing work related to wildlife and the parks. He writes mostly about the animals, but covers the flora, the geology and the people as well. The narratives is loosely connected with little on himself or his reactions, and much of the mundane is left out and the author does not bother to stitch everything together. But, this is more than made up with the keen f [...]

Well-written mixture of nature writing and anthropological study, with some dated sections, particularly around his speculation on human evolution.

Excellent Africa read.


Mathisen is amazing. This book is somewhat dated, but a fantastic travelogue of the wilds of East Africa. Worth reading if you are going there.

NF234 pagesExcellent! An African experience it was.

Very detailed, which is both its strength and weakness. Very interesting though, and recommend if you're into East Africa and its depths.

Couldn't finish

This book had languished on my bookshelf for far too long. With the recent death of author Peter Matthiessen, I was reminded of its presence, and, somewhat shamefacedly, took it down and began to read.I had read several of Matthiessen's other books, both fiction and nonfiction, and I had always found his writing to be quite lyrical and spellbinding. That was true of The Tree Where Man Was Born as well.Matthiessen combines his skills as a nature writer and as a travel writer here in order to vivi [...]

I have often heard Peter Matthiessen described as one of the all-time best nature writers, but my first experience with his work (The Cloud Forest) didn't do as much for me as I had expected it to. This one though? This one got me. While reading The Cloud Forest, I mostly had the impression that Matthiessen didn't really much enjoy his time in South America, and I felt that in many of his descriptions of the people, he seemed to be looking down on them, which, you know, made me not really like h [...]

Pete can write. Everyone knows this. Knowing the year of travel helps one swallow some of the now-outdated anthropological theories (as other reviewers have mentioned). This is one you want to get in print, no audiobook. Yep, it's another "European/American goes to Africa and finds it to be wild and different" memoir. But it's Matthiessen, who's a darned good naturalist and amateur anthropologist, in addition to being the guy who wrote Far Tortuga, one of the best-written books out there (in my [...]

Nature through the eyes of Peter Matthiessen is not the hazy, romantic view observed by a poet, horizontal in a field, flowers in his hair, giving anthropomorphic shapes to the clouds overhead: a hawk, a cat, a croc.The nature we see is beautiful, yes, particularly if you have an edition of this book that includes the photos of Eliot Porter, but nature here is alive, teeming with organisms, reptiles and large mammals that can kill. If a theme is to be found in a world that does not want to be ta [...]

I bought this as a used coffee table book, with Matthiessen's text and Eliot Porter's photos. I found the latter to be so-so (given today's photo technology and techniques) but the former compelling.Matthiessen writes to capture a dying Africa for whites, the natives and especially the wildlife. His first trips to East Africa are during the early 1960s independence period, a heady time in which a lot of mistakes were made that lead to the region's sorry plight today. It's interesting to see the [...]

While I give this book a high rating, I can't really recommend it. It is rather a heavy slog, full of difficult to pronounce names of places and people, with an emphasis on explaining how to get from one place to the next, and many of the names have been changed as African countries transitioned from colonial holdings to independent nations. That said, it is a beautifully articulated emotionally drawn mural of eastern Africa on the cusp of entering the modern world, held up alongside the ancient [...]

The Tree Where Man Was Born made my short list of books to hurriedly read before my trip to Africa this summer. Fortunately I actually didn't get around to starting it until well over a month following my return. And looking back, the timing was perfect. I don't know that I would've truly appreciated the depth and the passion of Matthiessen's writings in advance of my travels. In short, Peter Matthiessen recounts his multiple travels across East Africa beginning in the 1960s, but primarily those [...]

An excellent read on the writer's journeys through East Africa in the 1960's. The writer gives a unique description of the nature, wildlife and tribal cultures of the region. The descriptions of the various tribes was particularly interesting due to the writer's ability to visit and gain insight into the various traditions of different tribes including Maasai, Hadza, Bantu and many others. Wildlife is also well described as are the animals, including very clear descriptions of predators hunting. [...]

Matthiessen's writing, as always, is clear and sharp as a knife. His use of language is accurate and passionate, and he uses it here to bring us Africa as it was, as it still was in the early sixties, and no longer is. There's a lot one could say about this book. It's a travel book, a nature book, a reflection on the loss of a way of life, of a whole piece of humanity, and an investigation of the history of human-king in Africa. he presents the tribal people he met without sentinemtality, racism [...]

I saw this title in my feed because a goodsreads-only acquaintance added it her to-read list without commentary. I immediately requested it from the library.Most of the books I read before my trip were about climbing Kilimanjaro and wasted my time, and then I tried a book Rich was reading that, he claimed, was about Africa. I started it but I couldn't get past the author's justification for hunting.This, in contrast, is gorgeous. The prose is lovely, the landscape and peoples he describes are l [...]

If there is such a thing as poetic anthropology, this is it. Matthiessen close attention to detail and beautifully written descriptions evoke a rich image of an Africa on the verge of disappearance. Much of the book is about his journeys there in the 1970s when some tribes still lived as hunters, gatherers and herdsmen. Matthiessen talks about so many different types of people, from both the present and the past, that I lost track and just enjoyed the story. I also loved listening to his adventu [...]

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    105 Peter Matthiessen Jane Goodall
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    Posted by:Peter Matthiessen Jane Goodall
    Published :2018-011-07T00:17:25+00:00