Beautifully illustrated with color photos and period art throughout, this history of hunting by a devotee of the sport is a meditation on the meaning of hunting spiritually and culturally as well as a personal hunting account. Rupert Isaacson justifies and celebrates hunting in ancient and modern societies around the world, while acknowledging the realities of a modern world of heightened compassion.
"Beginning with the prehistoric hunter-gatherer ritual of the 'sacred chase,' Isaacson examines in detail the evolving stages of the practice of hunting. In the process, he examines some intriguing connections between the practices of such hunting cultures as the San (Bushmen) of the Kalahari and the Cree of northern Quebec and present-day, highly formalized versions of the hunt. Isaacson opens his investigation with a question: Is there still a place for such an arcane—many would say barbaric—ritual in our modern world? Although his consideration of the question is both balanced and nonconfrontational, his closing reflections reveal where his sympathies lie: 'Formalized and ritualized as hunting has become, it is still very much a part of this symbiotic relationship between man and the planet on which he relies'."—Library Journal