PART NATURE WRITING, PART TRAVELOGUE, PART BIOGRAPHY:
THE TRUE STORY OF ONE WOMAN’S FIGHT
TO SAVE THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BIRD
“Bruce Barcott has written an absorbing narrative about an unheralded and far-away environmental battle that speaks volumes about the ways of our world—and how an individual might actually change it. The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw is a great read and an important story.”
—Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma
“The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw is a suspenseful point-counterpoint narrative, with skirmishes won and lost, hopes raised and dashed. One turns the pages, on tenterhooks to reach the outcome. I stayed up till 3 a.m. to finish it, and so will many of its readers.”
—Jonathan Raban, author of Hunting Mister Heartbreak and Passage to Juneau
In the tradition of Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, Bruce Barcott has written a book that is narrative nonfiction at its finest: THE LAST FLIGHT OF THE SCARLET MACAW: One Woman’s Fight to Save the World’s Most Beautiful Bird (Random House; February 12, 2008). Both a character-filled page-turner and a topical environmental story, this book chronicles one woman’s crusade to stop a multinational corporation from exterminating the last scarlet macaws of Belize.
Sharon Matola, a former circus performer turned Belize zoo owner, is not a likely hero: she is a true eccentric, riding around on a motorcycle with a three-legged jaguar as a pet. But when a web of corporations, CEOs, banks, and bureaucrats conspired to purchase and destroy one of the great rivers of Central America—and one of the final habitats of the scarlet macaw—Sharon banded together a ragtag army of local villagers and started a campaign to save the remaining birds.
Her dramatic struggle brings alive the worldwide battle over globalization, demand for energy, environmental destruction, the fate of the planet’s species, and the realities of economic survival in a tiny Third World country. Colorful, inspiring, and engagingly written, THE LAST FLIGHT OF THE SCARLET MACAW offers an eminently readable narrative about one woman’s crusade to save this beautiful bird, and the urgent global issues facing all of us today.
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BRUCE BARCOTT, author of the award-winning book The Measure of a Mountain, is a contributing editor at Outside magazine. His feature articles have been published in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Slate, Utne Reader, and other magazines. Barcott lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Random House Publication Date: February 12, 2008 ISBN 978-1400062935 $25.95