In our time, the first overwhelmingly urban period in human history, confrontation and competition with the rest of the animal kingdom is becoming an everyday event. Some encounters charm us; some we dread; some we badly misunderstand.
Anne Matthews explores them all, examining the implication of this unexpected and powerful resurgence of Nature for the fate of a world of megacities and suburban hypersprawl. Animated by her owlish wisdom, foxy wit and eagle eye, and illuminated by the often contradictory theories of presiding scientists, historians and environmentalists, New York City emerges as an arresting example of an urban civilisation on the brink of ecological overreach.
Other such civilisations, in previous centuries, reached such a point of no return. As Matthews reminds us, most disappeared. Which species will survive and thrive in the future will depend upon our understanding of that oldest and hardest lesson in human history: wild doesn't always mean natural and urban is rarely the same as tame.