An Eternity of Eagles
The Human History of the Most Fascinating Bird in the World
By Stephen J. Bodio
(Lyons Press, Hardcover, 9780762780228, 208pp.)
Publication Date: October 2012
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From one of the foremost author/naturalists in the country, Stephen J. Bodio, comes a compulsively readable natural and social history of the most beautiful bird in the world -- the eagle -- with a lengthy introduction by Annie Proulx. The Eagle’s Shadow traces our love-hate relationship to these “living dinosaurs,” from Neolithic rock art and Native American religion through the practices of Kazakh falconers who use them to hunt wolves, all the way to contemporary art and popular culture. It examines the natural history, evolution, and habits of eagles, as well as contemporary threats like habitat loss and pesticides. The Eagle’s Shadow is a profusely illustrated celebration of all things eagle, by a naturalist who has kept eagles himself and ridden with the eagle tribes of Central Asia.”
Stephen Bodio has written five books. He was on the masthead of such publications as English Literary Renaissance and Gray’s Sporting Journal, and his work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, the LA Times Magazine, and literary quarterlies. An excerpt of his book Eagle Dreams, about riding with the Kazakh horsemen of Mongolia, was published in The Atlantic and included in Frances Mayes’s anthology The Best American Travel Writing 2002.
"His vivid description of an eagle, if it could imagine itself, is of a 'carnivorous Buddhist.' Through Bodio’s insights we get a strange glimpse of these other minds that share the earth with us.—Annie Proulx, author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain “There is so much brute wisdom, sophisticated science, blood magic, and flat out terrific prose in Stephen Bodio’s writing that he makes me think of Merlin, educating Arthur by turning him into other animals for a while. An Eternity of Eagles is worthy of its great subject, which is not only eagles but the earthbound mortals who marvel at them.”
—Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature “Throughout the world we stand in awe of eagles and Bodio’s exciting chapters provide the information on why we feel so. Along with a general sampling of the different species of eagles, the writer provides a thread of thought throughout that ties them intimately to our cultural history. With a sensitive combination of art (Vadim Gorbatov’s full paintings depicting hunting eagles as never before are truly breathtaking) and the writer’s easy- going and evocative style (a jungle-hunting Harpy eagle will ‘pluck sloths like hairy fruit’) we are given a complete tour of the trajectory of these species in our lives. Read and enjoy this book and gain new knowledge that will vastly broaden your respect and understanding of these ascendant creatures.”
—Tony Angell, artist, naturalist, and author