Elephant Company

Elephant Company Author Vicki Croke
ISBN-10 9780679603993
Year 2014-07-15
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher Random House
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to a job as a “forest man” for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles, he became a gifted “elephant wallah.” Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries, he also championed more humane treatment for them, even establishing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In return, he said, the elephants made him a better man. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude. But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Imperial Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite Force 136, the British dirty tricks department, operating behind enemy lines. His war elephants would carry supplies, build bridges, and transport the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. Now well versed in the ways of the jungle, an older, wiser Williams even added to his stable by smuggling more elephants out of Japanese-held territory. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced his most perilous test. In a Hollywood-worthy climax, Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow. Elephant Bill’s exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim. Part biography, part war epic, and part wildlife adventure, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism. Praise for Elephant Company “This book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review “Splendid . . . Blending biography, history, and wildlife biology, [Vicki Constantine] Croke’s story is an often moving account of [Billy] Williams, who earned the sobriquet ‘Elephant Bill,’ and his unusual bond with the largest land mammals on earth.”—The Boston Globe “Some of the biggest heroes of World War II were even bigger than you thought. . . . You may never call the lion the king of the jungle again.”—New York Post “Elephant Company is as powerful and big-hearted as the animals of its title. Billy Williams is an extraordinary character, a real-life reverse Tarzan raised in civilization who finds wisdom and his true self living among jungle beasts. Vicki Constantine Croke delivers an exciting tale of this elephant whisperer–cum–war hero, while beautifully reminding us of the enduring bonds between animals and humans.”—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time From the Trade Paperback edition.

Elephant Company

Elephant Company Author Vicki Constantine Croke
ISBN-10 1410476006
Year 2015-02-01
Pages 619
Language en
Publisher Thorndike Press Large Print
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

Tells the story of James Howard "Billy" Williams, who found his calling working with elephants in India, formed Elephant Company at the onset of World War II, and played an instrumental role in defeating the Japanese in Burma.

Elephant Company

Elephant Company Author Vicki Croke
ISBN-10 9780812981650
Year 2015-04-14
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

"In 1920, Billy Williams came to colonial Burma as a "forest man" for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence and character of the great animals who hauled logs through the jungle, he became a gifted "elephant wallah." In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams's growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude. Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite British Force 136 and operated behind enemy lines. His war elephants carried supplies, helped build bridges, and transported the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced their most perilous test. Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow. Part biography, part war epic, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism"--Back cover.

The Lady and the Panda

The Lady and the Panda Author Vicki Croke
ISBN-10 0307535878
Year 2009-03-25
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher Random House
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

Here is the astonishing true story of Ruth Harkness, the Manhattan bohemian socialite who, against all but impossible odds, trekked to Tibet in 1936 to capture the most mysterious animal of the day: a bear that had for countless centuries lived in secret in the labyrinth of lonely cold mountains. In The Lady and the Panda, Vicki Constantine Croke gives us the remarkable account of Ruth Harkness and her extraordinary journey, and restores Harkness to her rightful place along with Sacajawea, Nellie Bly, and Amelia Earhart as one of the great woman adventurers of all time. Ruth was the toast of 1930s New York, a dress designer newly married to a wealthy adventurer, Bill Harkness. Just weeks after their wedding, however, Bill decamped for China in hopes of becoming the first Westerner to capture a giant panda–an expedition on which many had embarked and failed miserably. Bill was also to fail in his quest, dying horribly alone in China and leaving his widow heartbroken and adrift. And so Ruth made the fateful decision to adopt her husband’s dream as her own and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. It was not easy. Indeed, everything was against Ruth Harkness. In decadent Shanghai, the exclusive fraternity of white male explorers patronized her, scorned her, and joked about her softness, her lack of experience and money. But Ruth ignored them, organizing, outfitting, and leading a bare-bones campaign into the majestic but treacherous hinterlands where China borders Tibet. As her partner she chose Quentin Young, a twenty-two-year-old Chinese explorer as unconventional as she was, who would join her in a romance as torrid as it was taboo. Traveling across some of the toughest terrain in the world–nearly impenetrable bamboo forests, slick and perilous mountain slopes, and boulder-strewn passages–the team raced against a traitorous rival, and was constantly threatened by hordes of bandits and hostile natives. The voyage took months to complete and cost Ruth everything she had. But when, almost miraculously, she returned from her journey with a baby panda named Su Lin in her arms, the story became an international sensation and made the front pages of newspapers around the world. No animal in history had gotten such attention. And Ruth Harkness became a hero. Drawing extensively on American and Chinese sources, including diaries, scores of interviews, and previously unseen intimate letters from Ruth Harkness, Vicki Constantine Croke has fashioned a captivating and richly textured narrative about a woman ahead of her time. Part Myrna Loy, part Jane Goodall, by turns wisecracking and poetic, practical and spiritual, Ruth Harkness is a trailblazing figure. And her story makes for an unforgettable, deeply moving adventure. From the Hardcover edition.

The Dog Who Could Fly

The Dog Who Could Fly Author Damien Lewis
ISBN-10 9781476739168
Year 2014-06-10
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

“A thoroughly enjoyable story of heroism and true friendship” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), this Sunday Times top ten bestseller is the true account of a German shepherd who was adopted by the Royal Air Force during World War II, flying countless combat missions and surviving everything from crash-landings to parachute bailouts—ultimately saving the life of his owner and dearest friend. In the winter of 1939 in the cold snow of no-man’s-land, two loners met and began an extraordinary journey that would turn them into lifelong friends. One was an orphaned puppy, abandoned by his owners as they fled Nazi forces. The other was a different kind of lost soul—a Czech airman bound for the Royal Air Force and the country that he would come to call home. Airman Robert Bozdech stumbled across the tiny German shepherd—whom he named Ant—after being shot down on a daring mission over enemy lines. Unable to desert the puppy, Robert hid Ant inside his jacket as he escaped. In the months that followed, the pair would save each other’s lives countless times as they flew together with RAF Bomber Command. Finally grounded after being injured on a flight mission, Ant refused to abandon his duty, waiting patiently beside the runway for his master’s return from every sortie, and refusing food and sleep until they were reunited. By the end of the war, Robert and Ant had become true war heroes, and Ant was justly awarded the Dickin Medal, the “Animal VC.” With beautiful vintage black-and-white photos of Robert and Ant, The Dog Who Could Fly is a deeply moving story of loyalty in the face of adversity and the unshakable bond between a man and his best friend.

The Modern Ark

The Modern Ark Author Vicki Croke
ISBN-10 PSU:000043608188
Year 1998
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Avon Books
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

Examines the evolution of zoos from concrete-paved mazes to naturally-landscaped education centers focused on the preservation of endangered species, and explores the issues facing zoos today

No Better Friend

No Better Friend Author Robert Weintraub
ISBN-10 9781444796957
Year 2015-05-07
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

An extraordinary tale of the remarkable bond between one man and his dog during the Second World War. The two friends huddled close together, each of them the other's saving grace in a world gone to hell . . . There was nothing terribly unusual about POWs suffering horribly at the hands of their Japanese captors. All across the Pacific theatre, Allied captives were experiencing similar punishment. But there was one thing unusual about this particular duo of prisoners. One of them was a dog. Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair's relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own. Using a wealth of new material including interviews with those who knew Frank and Judy, letters and firsthand accounts, Robert Weintraub expertly weaves a narrative of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances. Judy's devotion to the men she was interned with, including a host of characters from all around the world, from Australia to the UK, was so powerful that reports indicate she might have been the only dog spared in these camps - and their care for her helped keep them alive. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank. She became the war's only official canine POW, and after she died at the age of fourteen, Frank couldn't bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story of friendship and survival is one of the great sagas of World War II.

Being a Beast

Being a Beast Author Charles Foster
ISBN-10 9781782831990
Year 2016-01-28
Pages 218
Language en
Publisher Profile Books
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2016 Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast: a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, a swift. What it was really like. And through knowing what it was like he wanted to get down and grapple with the beast in us all. So he tried it out; he lived life as a badger for six weeks, sleeping in a dirt hole and eating earthworms, he came face to face with shrimps as he lived like an otter and he spent hours curled up in a back garden in East London and rooting in bins like an urban fox. A passionate naturalist, Foster realises that every creature creates a different world in its brain and lives in that world. As humans, we share sensory outputs, lights, smells and sound, but trying to explore what it is actually like to live in another of these worlds, belonging to another species, is a fascinating and unique neuro-scientific challenge. For Foster it is also a literary challenge. Looking at what science can tell us about what happens in a fox's or badger's brain when it picks up a scent, he then uses this to imagine their world for us, to write it through their eyes or rather through the eyes of Charles the beast. An intimate look at the life of animals, neuroscience, psychology, nature writing, memoir and more, it is a journey of extraordinary thrills and surprises, containing wonderful moments of humour and joy, but also providing important lessons for all of us who share life on this precious planet.

Modoc

Modoc Author Ralph Helfer
ISBN-10 0061748285
Year 2009-10-13
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Harper Collins
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

Spanning several decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City. Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.

The Last Rhinos

The Last Rhinos Author Lawrence Anthony
ISBN-10 9780283071553
Year 2012-04-12
Pages 384
Language en
Publisher Pan Macmillan
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

Lawrence Anthony's South African game reserve is home to many animals he has saved, from a remarkable herd of elephants to a badly behaved bushbaby called George. Described as 'the Indiana Jones of conservation', when one of his rhinos was brutally slaughtered for her horn, he didn't hesitate to lead an armed response against the poachers. Then he learned that there were only a handful of northern white rhinos left in the wild, living in an area of the Congo controlled by the infamous Lord's Resistance Army and soon to be hunted into extinction. Lawrence knew he had to take action. What followed was an extraordinary adventure, as he headed into the jungle to negotiate with the rebels, while battling to save his own animals from terrible drought and to save the eyesight of his beloved elephant matriarch Nana. The Last Rhinos is peopled with unforgettable characters, both human and animal, and is a sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always exciting read. 'Anthony was a charismatic figure whose life combined Gerald Durrell-esque animal antics with Wilbur Smith bush heroics . . . a rattling read with an urgent message' BBC Wildlife Magazine

An African Love Story

An African Love Story Author Daphne Sheldrick
ISBN-10 9780141966779
Year 2012-03-01
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

Daphne Sheldrick's best-selling love story of romance, life and elephants, An African Love Story: Love, Life and Elephants is an incredible story from Africa's greatest living conservationist. A typical day for Daphne involves rescuing baby elephants from poachers; finding homes for orphan elephants, all the while campaigning the ever-present threat of poaching for the ivory trade. An African Love Story is the incredible memoir of her life. It tells two stories - one is the extraordinary love story which blossomed when Daphne fell head over heels with Tsavo Game Park and its famous warden, David Sheldrick. The second is the love story of how Daphne and David, who devoted their lives to saving elephant orphans, at first losing every infant under the age of two until Daphne at last managed to devise the first-ever milk formula which would keep them alive. 'Compulsively readable', Mail on Sunday 'An enchanting memoir', Telegraph Daphne Sheldrick has spent her entire life in Kenya. For over 25 years, she and her husband, David, the famous founder of the the giant Tsavo National Park, raised and rehabilitated back into the wild orphans of misfortune from many different wild species. These included elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, zebra, eland, kudu, impala, warthogs and many other smaller animals. In 2006 she was made Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Queen.

H Is for Hawk

H Is for Hawk Author Helen Macdonald
ISBN-10 9780802191670
Year 2015-03-03
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year ON MORE THAN 25 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LISTS: including TIME (#1 Nonfiction Book), NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine (10 Favorite Books), Vogue (Top 10), Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle (Top 10), Miami Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top 10), Library Journal (Top 10), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Shelf Awareness, Book Riot, Amazon (Top 20) The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald's story of adopting and raising one of nature's most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel's temperament mirrors Helen's own state of grief after her father's death, and together raptor and human "discover the pain and beauty of being alive" (People). H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.

The Fire Line

The Fire Line Author Fernanda Santos
ISBN-10 9781250054036
Year 2016-05-03
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Flatiron Books
DOWNLOAD NOW READ ONLINE

“In Fernanda Santos’ expert hands, the story of 19 men and a raging wildfire unfolds as a riveting, pulse-pounding account of an American tragedy; and also as a meditation on manhood, brotherhood and family love. The Fire Line is a great and deeply moving book about courageous men and women.” - Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle that Set Them Free. When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June of 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the twenty men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Granite Mountain Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. The Hotshots were loyal to one another and dedicated to the tough job they had. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. Impeccably researched, drawing upon more than a hundred hours of interviews with the firefighters’ families, colleagues, state and federal officials, and fire historians and researchers, New York Times Phoenix Bureau Chief Fernanda Santos has written a riveting, pulse-pounding narrative of an unthinkable disaster, a remarkable group of men and the raging wildfires that threaten our country’s treasured wild lands. The Fire Line is the winner of the 2017 Spur Award for Best First Nonfiction Book, and Spur Award Finalist for Best Western Contemporary Nonfiction.