THIS book comes to me like an answer to prayer. I have been reading books on New Guinea ever since my first glimpse of that naturalist’s paradise—no one else’s, however — in 1908. I have handled specimens collected by the Pratt brothers in the interior of the “Vogelkop,” as the northwest end of New Guinea, bird-headlike in shape, is called.
I have seen these mountains only from a distance. But Dillon Ripley tells me just exactly what I want to know about them, with simplicity and humor. I know too that here is a record which is absolutely accurate. This is an exact picture by a scientist, told with extreme charm. He had no “adventures”: he traveled too well-prepared and too intelligently.
Now some may consider me a specialized reader because I am a college professor and the director of a great museum. But to my certain knowledge this book, since I put it on the shelves of two libraries with which I am connected, has been “out ” steadily, and I know just what people have had it. They represent a first-class cross-section of the intelligent visitors to our libraries, both laymen and scientists. I have heard nothing but praise for its style, charm, and contents. If you want a picture of one of the most untouched and unspoiled nooks left in the world today, read this book. It was not written, as some others I could mention have been, just because the visitor has been to a part of the world that has suddenly come into the public eye, and has written a book which would never be published otherwise. This book stands on its own pins.