Review of Life among the ants by Vance Randolph. (#833) by wppalmer [WorldCat.org]
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Life among the ants

by Vance Randolph; Peter Quinn

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Review of Life among the ants by Vance Randolph. (#833)   (2015-04-13)

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by wppalmer

Review of Life among the ants by Vance Randolph. (#833)

CITATION: Randolph, V. (1925). Life among the ants (Drawings by Peter Quinn) (Little Blue Book Number 833). Girard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Company.

Reviewer: Dr W. P. Palmer.

Vance Randolph was one of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius most versatile and competent writers. He wrote 24 Little Blue Books of which several are nature books which are as follows:

New Experiments in Animal Psychology (#693)
Physiology Self Taught (#703) already reviewed
Zoology Self Taught (#725)
Life Among the Bees (#728)
Life Among the Butterflies (#796)
Beekeeping for Profit (#808)
Life Among the Dragonflies (#818)
How to Know the Song Birds (#853)
Our Insect Enemies (#860)
How to Know the Spiders (#885)

Randolph had worked in a wide variety of jobs and had been a teacher for some years. He wrote about nature and also wrote many other books for Haldeman-Julius under various ‘noms-de-plume’ mainly about the Ozarks and well-known outlaws of Western legend. In the nature books he is at his best when an artist, Peter Quinn, is working with him on the drawings. He appears to have persuaded Haldeman-Julius that this expense of hiring an artist was worthwhile.

In this book ‘Life among the ants’, there are seven full page illustrations which add greatly to the ease of understanding the text. ‘Life among the ants’ is only 62 pages long and has the following chapters which show a logical progression.

Chapter 1 Books about ants 4
Chapter 2 The Ant’s body 5
Chapter 3 Reproduction and metamorphosis 12
Chapter 4 The harvesting ants 20
Chapter 5 The mushroom growers 25
Chapter 6 The honey ants 30
Chapter 7 The legionary ants 36
Chapter 8 The red slave makers 46
Chapter 9 The Amazons and their slaves 51
Chapter 10 Dairies and their guests 54

As will be seen from the chapter titles, much of the book is about different types of ant that live in different parts of the world. Research on these different ants depends on research carried out by naturalists between the 1820s and the 1890s and one wonders if it was the latest available research in the 1920s when the book was written. However, the author shows a good knowledge of his subject and writes clearly and with enthusiasm. Unlike many Little Blue Books this may possibly have some educational value today.

BILL PALMER




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