...a rapturously unapologetic hymn of praise to the roughly one quadrillion ants on the planet ... It’s to his credit that he doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh realities of the ant world, which is overwhelmingly matriarchal ... His fascination with them virtually glows in these pages ... full of just such amazement, most of it presented with the infectious enthusiasm that only a life-long teacher and popularizer like Wilson could muster.
With its modest and sometimes amusing tone, the book is a delight — and may coax readers to take up ant-watching themselves ... his explanations of ant 'gender' (most scientists would grant to insects only 'sex') and raiding behavior make for exciting reading.
... resists simple categorization. It is all the richer a read for it ... Mr. Wilson shares his passion for, and expertise in, myrmecology through 26 brief, clear and compelling chapters. Need one be an ant expert, scientist or scholar to enjoy them? Hardly. A bit of interest in the natural world and an ear for enthusiastic storytelling should suffice as prerequisites ... At age 91, recording his words longhand since he does not type, Wilson proves himself no relic. Here is a thoughtful man attuned with nature, boundless in curiosity, eager to share insights that could simply be the province of academics with any interested reader. The creatures he studies are physically small, but they inspire great thought.
Whether he’s writing about island biogeography, sociobiology, human nature or biodiversity, naturalist Edward O. Wilson tells a cracking good story ... With characteristic passion and humor, Wilson regales us with Tales From the Ant World, combining memoir and scientific discovery into a spellbinding narrative of his lifelong devotion to myrmecology, the study of ants ... Wilson’s absorbing and delightful book shows how extraordinary (and populous!) this common creature really is ... enchanting.
The world-renowned ant expert cleans out his desk, which—no surprise—contains many gems ... Though infectiously enthusiastic about ants, Wilson is no sentimentalist; he warns that nothing about an ant’s life provides moral uplift ... Though somewhat disorganized, the content and quality of the writing is consistently top-notch.
Wilson wants to inspire both adults and children to see the adventurous side of studying ants, how they communicate with one another, and how we communicate with them ... Readers seeking an accessible natural history on an often-misunderstood insect will appreciate Wilson’s modest, conversational tone in this brief look at his lifetime of appreciating nature’s small wonders.
...an illuminating work filled with insights into his specialty subject: ants ... Wilson’s passion for his subject, for the scientific method, and for the natural world comes through clearly in this enjoyable survey.