Mark Moffett's "Adventures Among Ants"


My review of Mark Moffett's new ant book appears this morning in Myrmecological News:

Let me start with the obvious: Adventures among ants is the most visually stunning ant book ever published.

The physical product, from glossy paper to the tasteful font, is an aesthetic tour de force. The photographs are ... well, this is a Mark Moffett book, and unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past two decades - a reasonable place for a myrmecologist, I suppose - you'll know that Moffett is the National Geographic photographer responsible for much of that magazine's insect imagery from the 1980s onwards. The photographs are spectacular. The retro cover suggests 1950's era pulp movies and would itself make a fine poster. You'll be glad you bought this book even if you never read a word of it.

But read it you will, because Moffett is also a born storyteller. Therein lies the book's greatest strength and its greatest weakness.

Read the full review.


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I am halfway through this wonderful new book by Moffett and enjoying every page and photo! He is the consummate storyteller alright and anyone who purchases this book will be agree I feel. I have know Mark for over 20 years and he never gets old!

By Henry Robison (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

Thanks for posting this. Great cover! I like how the ant's watching the ant movie. Your glowing review made me want to see the book, and I put the lame in layman! As for lacking experimental rigour, from what you've said, Moffett's a photographer. That's his game and he plays it well. He leaves the boring, variable-controlled experiments to others. The geologist Thomas Belt was another guy who, using only his insight, significantly advanced tropical biology. The Ed Wilson quote is, I realize, a necessary evil marketing tool. I'm not defending Moffett against some perceived slight; it's because your review is so complete and balanced that I'm even aware of the criticism. I just mention Belt in reply to silent nods from ivory towers. Great job by everyone involved!

you should write a goddamn photo book. I'll edit. while we're in tahiti next week. and measuring aphid exhaust.

By ihateaphids (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

I read the book about a month ago. Highly recommended!

By william e emba (not verified) on 29 Jun 2010 #permalink