Ladders to Heaven

Ladders to Heaven

4.12 (350 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Irresistible" - Literary Review

Fig trees have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways: they are wish-fulfillers, rainforest royalty, more precious than gold. Ladders to Heaven tells their incredible story.

They fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played a key role in the birth of civilisation. More recently, they helped restore life after Krakatoa's catastrophic eruption and proved instrumental in Kenya's struggle for independence.

Figs now sustain more species of bird and mammal than any other fruit - in a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, they offer hope. Theirs is a story about humanity's relationship with nature, as relevant to our past as it is to our future.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 141 x 222 x 22mm | 386g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1783522364
  • 9781783522361
  • 529,133

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Snakes & Ladders and Tantalising Figs
Chapter 2: Trees of Life, Trees of Knowledge
Chapter 3: A Long Seduction
Chapter 4: Banyans and the Birth of Botany
Chapter 5: Botanical Monkeys
Chapter 6: Sex & Violence in the Hanging Gardens
Chapter 7: Struggles for Existence
Chapter 8: Goodbye to the Gardeners, Hello to the Heat
Chapter 9: From Dependence to Dominion
Chapter 10: The War of the Trees
Chapter 11: The Testimony of Volcanoes
Chapter 12: Once Destroyed, Forever Lost?
Epilogue: A Wedding Invitation
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Review Text

"A truly informative book"
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Review quote

"Irresistible." - Literary Review * Literary Review *
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About Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan is a freelance writer and illustrator with a doctorate in rainforest ecology. He has lived in a national park in Borneo, bred endangered penguins, investigated illegal bear farms and produced award-winning journalism. His writing includes work published by The Economist, Nature, New Scientist, BBC Earth, Scientific American and Newsweek, and chapters of Dry: Life without Water, Climate Change and the Media and Culture and Climate Change: Narratives. He maintains a blog called Under the Banyan. He lives in Folkestone.
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Rating details

350 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 38% (133)
4 40% (140)
3 18% (64)
2 3% (12)
1 0% (1)
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