The Fight to Save Our Wild Places

Title Details

Pages: 416

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 03/15/2020

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5768-3

List Price: $18.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Wormsloe Foundation Nature Books


The Fight to Save Our Wild Places

Skip to

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Awards

All across the world, irreplaceable habitats are under threat. Unique ecosystems of plants and animals are being destroyed by human intervention. From the tiny to the vast, from marshland to meadow, and from America to England, Greece, and India, they are disappearing.

Irreplaceable is not only a love letter to the haunting beauty of these landscapes and the wild species that call them home, including prairie chickens, nightingales, lynxes, hornbills, redwoods, and elephant seals, it is also a timely reminder of the vital connections between humans and nature, and all that we stand to lose in terms of wonder and well-being. This is a book about the power of resistance in an age of loss; a testament to the transformative possibilities that emerge when people come together to defend our most special places and wildlife from extinction.

Exploring treasured coral reefs and remote mountains, tropical jungle and ancient woodland, urban gardens and tallgrass prairie, Julian Hoffman traces the stories of threatened places around the globe through the voices of local communities and grassroots campaigners as well as professional ecologists and academics. And in the process, he asks what a deep emotional relationship with place offers us—culturally, socially, and psychologically. In this rigorous, intimate, and impassioned account, he presents a powerful call to arms in the face of unconscionable natural destruction.

A passionate and lyrical work of reportage and advocacy.

—Caspar Henderson, Guardian

Lyrical and hugely intelligent.

—Mark Cocker, New Statesman

So if you read one book this year, make it Julian Hoffman’s Irreplaceable. I’m not going to dilute that statement with qualifiers (‘If you read one nonfiction book . . .’ or ‘If you like nature books . . .’). It’s too important a book to limit its audience in any way.

—Rebecca Foster, Shiny New Books

If the pen really is mightier than the sword, then Julian Hoffman is a knight errant, looking for trouble, a champion of underdogs.

—Paul Evans, Caught by the River

The power of Hoffman's book lies in the reporting: he doesn't deal—as many environmentalists do—in generalities and alarmist warnings about what lies ahead for the world, but in the specifics of the here and now.

—Julian Glover, London Evening Standard

A powerful hymn to humanity engaging with nature . . . [A] remarkable, illuminating book.

—Paddy Woodsworth, Irish Times

A terrific book, prescient, serious and urgent with a careful appreciation of not only the places, creatures and people it brings to us, but also the language used to convey them. This book is an object of celebration and commemoration in itself.

—Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun

Powerful, timely, beautifully written and wonderfully hopeful . . . From the North Kent marshes to the mountainous Balkans, Julian Hoffman shines a light on what we had, what we have, and how much we still stand to lose.

—Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground

Unforgettable. Julian Hoffman presents a radical and revelatory perspective on our planet. At a time when the Earth often seems broken beyond repair, this courageous and hopeful book offers life-changing encounters with the more-than-human world.

—Nancy Campbell, author of The Library of Ice

Wonderful, tender and subtle, beautifully written and filled with a calm authority . . . No book has done more to champion the idea that connections between the human and the natural are the lifeblood of everything that matters.

—Adam Nicolson, author of The Seabird's Cry

A book of beautifully evoked stories of people loving and fighting for their communities. Inspiring, grounded, and hopeful.

—David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen and The Songs of Trees

Irreplaceable chronicles singular landscapes and the inspiring people who fight to protect them. It’s an eloquent, sustained prose poem about the beauty and historical, cultural, and ecological attributes of special areas, and is evocative because of its gorgeous, passionate writing. . . . Irreplaceable is an inspiring, thoughtful book that can help recharge one’s batteries for all the good fights ahead.

—Rachel Jagareski, Foreword Reviews

Hoffman paints a picture with the language. He puts us in these landscapes he describes, inviting us to use all our senses to experience everything that makes them special.... Irreplaceable is a beautiful and important piece of nature writing. It should be read and savored by everyone who loves wild places and wild things.

—Kyle Carlsen, American Birding Association


Nature and the Environment Books of the Year, Royal Geographical Society

About the Author/Editor

JULIAN HOFFMAN is the author of The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World (Georgia), which won the 2012 AWP Award Series for Creative Nonfiction and the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature. He was also the winner of the Nonfiction Prize and has written for EarthLines, Kyoto Journal, Beloit Fiction Journal, Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, Redwood Coast Review, Silk Road Review, and Southern Humanities Review. He lives in northwestern Greece.