Becoming Wild

Becoming Wild

Becoming Wild by Carl Safina

New York Times bestselling author Carl Safina brings readers close to three non-human cultures—what they do, why they do it, and how life is for them.

Becoming Wild offers a glimpse into cultures among non-human animals through looks at the lives of individuals in different present-day animal societies. By showing how others teach and learn, Safina offers a fresh understanding of what is constantly going on beyond humanity. With reporting from deep in nature, alongside individual creatures in their free-living communities, this book offers a very privileged glimpse behind the curtain of life on Earth, and helps inform the answer to that most urgent of questions: Who are we here with?

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“Combining the knowledge of a seasoned scientist with the skills of a good storyteller, Safina invites us to leave our cultural worlds and enter animals’ ones. . . . Becoming Wild deserves to be remembered.”


“[A] bracing and enlightening book. . . . Safina’s writing on the watery depths and its denizens is sublime . . . [challenging] us to be more acutely aware of species whose social lives have much to teach us.”


“Seminal. . . . By drawing attention to the importance of regional variation and acculturated behavior, Safina raises important issues for environmentalists.”

Natural History

“Safina's lovely account of his travels with researchers . . . reveals majestic, closely knit communities. . . . And few readers will doubt that these magnificent creatures need urgent attention. Enthralling.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Full of rich observations . . . Becoming Wild offers readers a window into the complex and curious lives of the three species it depicts and invites [us] to observe the beauty and joy of each species’s nuances.”


“Eloquent. . . . This revelatory work sheds as much light on what it means to be human as it does on the nature of other species.”

Publishers Weekly

Carl Safina

© Kizza Vincent

Carl Safina’s work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards as well as the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. Safina is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He hosted the 10-part PBS series Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina. His books include Beyond Words, Song for the Blue Ocean, and The Eye of the Albatross. He lives on Long Island, New York.

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