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See Inside March 2010

Recommended: Amazing Animals... And More

Books and recommendations from Scientific American



Chadden Hunter in Life: Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behaviour

Life: Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behaviour
by Martha Holmes and Michael Gunton. University of California Press, 2010

From cuttlefish seduction to hyena cooperation, the earth’s creatures come to life in the pages of this companion volume to the Discovery Channel/BBC series, premiering in the U.S. in March. Here gelada baboons forage and socialize in the Ethiopian highlands.

Excerpt
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire
by Jack Weatherford. Crown, 2010

Anthropologist Jack Weatherford pieces together the lost history of the ruling women of the Mongol Empire, painting a rich picture of life among the nomadic tribes of the Mongolian Plateau. Here he describes how Genghis Khan’s daughters came to power.

"Genghis Khan was certainly ambitious and had much larger desires in the world than merely uniting the warring tribes of the steppe. Yet, in order to expand his empire, he needed someone to rule the newly conquered people. He had to leave someone in charge. Ideally, he would have had a stable of talented sons and given each one of them a newly conquered country to govern, but his sons were simply not capable. Without competent sons, he could leave a general in charge, but Genghis Khan had been betrayed too many times by men inside and outside his family. He probably knew well the result of Alexander the Great’s overreliance on his generals, who subsequently divided the empire among themselves as soon as their leader died....

“Genghis Khan’s mother and wives were too old to take command of these new nations and to enjoy the full benefits of what he had to offer, but he had a new generation of women who seemed as capable as the previous one. After uniting the steppe, Genghis Khan turned his attention to foreign nations, and now women assumed a far more important role in building the empire abroad. At least three daughters had been married to closely related clans, and those marriages had helped to solidify bonds within the newly formed Mongol nation; however, now four other daughters faced a far more challenging task beyond the Mongol world, in the lands of neighboring countries....”

BOOKS
The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature
by Timothy Ferris. HarperCollins, 2010

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
by Anil Ananthaswamy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010

Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates
by Adrian Johns. University of Chicago Press, 2010

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot. Crown, 2010

Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease
by Gary Greenberg. Simon & Schuster, 2010

How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution
by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson. Bantam Books, 2010

March of the Microbes: Sighting the Unseen
by John L. Ingraham. Belknap Press, 2010

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea
by Philip Hoare. Ecco Books, 2010

The Double Helix and the Law of Evidence
by David H. Kaye. Harvard University Press, 2010

How to Find a Habitable Planet
by James Kasting. Princeton University Press, 2010

EXHIBITS
Mammoths and Masto­dons: Titans of the Ice Age
March 5 to Sep­tember 6 at the Field Museum in Chicago.

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