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Paperback Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving Book

ISBN: 1558964312

ISBN13: 9781558964310

Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving

A detailed practical guide to the development of high-quality national health laboratory services in South-East Asian countries. In view of the frequent absence of laboratory-based information at the primary health care level, the book gives particular attention to the development of peripheral laboratories as a means of supporting better patient management and better disease surveillance. The book also issues abundant advice on how to take full advantage,...

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Loving them singly, killing them by the billion

He loves the grasshoppers, but he kills the grasshoppers. That, in a nutshell, is the theme of this remarkable collection of essays about "loving and killing." Several essays stand out. In one, he discusses watching the death throes of the grasshoppers in the field after they have been sprayed by his products. As always, it is the details that strike home - - Lockwood gets upset when a colleague crushes a nymph with his boot just before the spraying would have killed the nymph and millions more. A second memorable essay concerns Lockwood's family. His father was a nuclear physicist who worked on atomic bombs, and Lockwood reflects on the similarities between their two careers. Lockwood also discusses his efforts to get his children to understand "applied ecology," that is, the science of killing insects. Of course, each child asks a deep and devastating question. The essay on religion that concludes the book doesn't quite work. Lockwood is writing while still in the middle of his spiritual journey, and his views aren't yet settled enough to commit to writing. I also think that Lockwood's own voice is grounded so deeply in grasshoppers that it's a mistake to write on things too far removed. Elsewhere in the book he asks us to remember the grasshoppers that died for us when we give thanks before a meal. This kind of grasshopper-based religiosity lies at the heart of Lockwood's own genius. The book begins with a fish that doesn't quite die, and ends with a fish that does. Even though it's a book about grasshoppers, that works.

A polished gem

The subject categories on the copyright page, "1. Grasshoppers 2. Grasshoppers -- Ecology 3. Insect pests -- Control -- Environmental aspects," may lead to serendipity for some entomologists, but there needs to be more of a clue for the rest of us. This is a book about ecology more than grasshoppers, living in the world more than pest control. The author's deep understanding and experience in killing grasshoppers is what caused and organizes the book, but not what it's about.It is a thoughtful treatise on our place on this earth, on the reality of the universe and on the irony and paradox (as Lockwood puts it) of the impossibility of victory in the battle between scientific materialism and religious understanding.
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