...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.