The Fire Ants Book

Related to the last post about Southern fire ants, have you seen The Fire Ants by Walter R. Tschinkel?

You would think that a book that is over 700 pages long about a single topic, and fire ants at that, would be pretty dreadful reading. Surprise! The Fire Ants has all the elements of a great literary work. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry. Walter Tschinkel turns out to be a scientist with a talent for writing far more than just straight research papers. As E.O. Wilson says in the Foreword, “He has delivered a masterpiece.”

I have been thinking about reviewing The Fire Ants for several months, but wasn’t sure how to tackle it because there is so much to discuss. It would be a huge post.

What would you think about taking a few chapters at a time and having a discussion? Any interest?

Let me know what you think.

5 Replies to “The Fire Ants Book”

  1. You might want to do a concise overall review (not much more than 1,000 words) for those with passing interest and follow up with more detailed reviews of specific chapters.

  2. I second that, Ted C. MacRae, and I’ll have to try to get it from the library, ‘coz it costs 90€ over here (Germany) – and I’d really love to read it. So I’d love to see it talked over, too – it’s a bit like smelling the cookies before munching them all, though I don’t wait that long for cookies normally. Especially in this season.

  3. I’m in Ken Ross’s (the guy who found gp-9) lab in Georgia, and I think it would be cool to involve our two new undergrad students in a discussion every couple of chapters. We’d definitely be interested.

  4. Glad to hear there’s interest.

    I’m going to assume undergrads will probably be away during the holidays. How about I give you all a few weeks to find the book and get started reading and I’ll post again the first week of January.

    Ossein, Good luck finding it. And cookies…

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