Beyond the Last Village

Beyond the Last Village

A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness

Book - 2001
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Chicago Distribution Center
In 1993, Alan Rabinowitz, called "the Indiana Jones" of wildlife science by The New York Times, arrived for the first time in the country of Myanmar, known until 1989 as Burma, uncertain of what to expect. Working under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society, his goal was to establish a wildlife research and conservation program and to survey the country's wildlife. He succeeded beyond all expectations, not only discovering a species of primitive deer completely new to science but also playing a vital role in the creation of Hkakabo Razi National Park, now one of Southeast Asia's largest protected areas.Beyond the Last Village takes the reader on a journey of exploration, danger, and discovery in this remote corner of the planet at the southeast edge of the Himalayas where tropical rain forest and snow-covered mountains meet. As we travel through this "lost world" -- a mysterious and forbidding region isolated by ancient geologic forces -- we meet the Rawang, a former slave group, the Taron, a solitary enclave of the world's only pygmies of Asian ancestry, and Myanmar Tibetans living in the furthest reaches of the mountains. We enter the territories of strange, majestic-looking beasts that few people have ever heard of and fewer have ever seen -- golden takin, red goral, blue sheep, black barking deer. The survival of these ancient species is now threatened, not by natural forces but by hunters with snares and crossbows, trading body parts for basic household necessities.The powerful landscape and unique people the author befriends help him come to grips with the traumas and difficulties of his past and emerge a man ready to embrace the world anew. Interwoven with his scientific expedition in Myanmar, and helping to inform his understanding of the people he met and the situations he encountered, is this more personal journey of discovery.

Baker & Taylor
The author describes his journey through the uncharted lands of northern Myanmar, describing new species and trying to persuade the government to preserve the land.

Book News
Relating both a scientific adventure and a personal journey, Rabinowitz's memoir describes his travels in the most remote areas of Myanmar, between the eastern edge of the Himalayas and the mountains of western China. A zoologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, Rabinowitz was the first foreign scientist allowed into the far northern region in almost 50 years; he documented a previously unknown species of deer and helped establish the 1,500-square-mile Hkakabo Razi National Park. He also came to terms with pain from his past and rediscovered his dedication to protecting the natural world. Includes eight leaves containing color photos taken by the author. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Washington, DC : Island Press/Shearwater Books, c2001
ISBN: 9781559637992
Branch Call Number: 333.95416 R1135b 2001
Characteristics: xvi, 300 p., [16] p. of plates : col. ill., maps ; 24 cm


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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 23, 2014

Sometimes referred to as the Indiana Jones of wildlife science, Rabinowitz has travelled the world working for the Wildlife Conservation Society. This is the account of his struggle to convince the people and political leaders of Myanmar or Burma to set aside large tracks of land as protected areas. He travels five hundred miles through the lost world of northern Myanmar to the southeast edge of the Himalayas and encounters rare animals, pygmies of Asiatic origin, Tibetan monks, and the Rawang, a former slave group. His expedition proves arduous but ultimately more successful than he ever dreamed. And as he travels we learn of his lonely childhood, his difficult relationship with his father and a marriage that may not survive yet another long absence.


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