The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
Author: Vicki Croke
Publisher: Random House
Category: Biography & Autobiography
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to a job as a “forest man” for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles, he became a gifted “elephant wallah.” Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries, he also championed more humane treatment for them, even establishing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In return, he said, the elephants made him a better man. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude. But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Imperial Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite Force 136, the British dirty tricks department, operating behind enemy lines. His war elephants would carry supplies, build bridges, and transport the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. Now well versed in the ways of the jungle, an older, wiser Williams even added to his stable by smuggling more elephants out of Japanese-held territory. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced his most perilous test. In a Hollywood-worthy climax, Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow. Elephant Bill’s exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim. Part biography, part war epic, and part wildlife adventure, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism. Praise for Elephant Company “This book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review “Splendid . . . Blending biography, history, and wildlife biology, [Vicki Constantine] Croke’s story is an often moving account of [Billy] Williams, who earned the sobriquet ‘Elephant Bill,’ and his unusual bond with the largest land mammals on earth.”—The Boston Globe “Some of the biggest heroes of World War II were even bigger than you thought. . . . You may never call the lion the king of the jungle again.”—New York Post “Elephant Company is as powerful and big-hearted as the animals of its title. Billy Williams is an extraordinary character, a real-life reverse Tarzan raised in civilization who finds wisdom and his true self living among jungle beasts. Vicki Constantine Croke delivers an exciting tale of this elephant whisperer–cum–war hero, while beautifully reminding us of the enduring bonds between animals and humans.”—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time From the Trade Paperback edition.
A scientific safari and personal memoir celebrating the enigmatic dignity of the world's largest land animal. As a child in South Africa, spending summers exploring the wild with his boyhood friends, Lyall Watson came face to face with his first elephant. This "entertaining and enchanting" work (Washington Post Book World) chronicles how Watson's fascination grew into a lifelong quest to understand the nature and behavior of this impressive creature. From that moment on, Watson's fascination grew into a lifelong obsession with understanding the nature and behavior of this impressive creature. Around the world, the elephant—at once a symbol of spiritual power and physical endurance—has been worshipped as a god and hunted for sport. "Watson's insights and speculations are dazzling, but what lends them power is his extraordinary knowledge of evolutionary biology and animal behavior, ethnography and South African history" (Wade Davis, National Geographic Society). "Like a shaman, Watson conjures up the spirit of the massive beast" (Publishers Weekly), documents the animal's wide-ranging capabilities to remember and to mourn, and reminds us of its rich mythic origins, its evolution, and its devastation in recent history. Part meditation on an elusive animal, part evocation of the power of place, Elephantoms presents an alluring mix of the mysteries of nature and the wonders of childhood.
The must-read summary of Steve Kaplan's book: "Bag the Elephant: How to Win and Keep Big Customers". This complete summary of the ideas from Steve Kaplan's book "Bag the Elephant" shows the merits of acquiring and retaining big clients to grow your business. In fact, working with fewer big customers has many advantages over working with many small ones, ranging from being more cost effective, being more focused, being able to build lasting relationships and reduce advertising spend. These 'elephants’ of the business world are hard to acquire, and a successful contract is contingent on an effective game plan which must contain the following four elements: 1) Develop the right business mindset, 2) Have an appropriate sales strategy, 3) Leverage your big business clients and take full advantage of them, 4) Avoid the five killer mistakes which could mitigate your success. The summary is logically divided into the above key points, ending with the five mistakes which should be avoided all costs – from biting off more than you can chew, to keeping all your eggs in one basket. Added-value of this summary: • Save time • Understand key concepts • Increase your business knowledge To learn more, read "Bag the Elephant" and discover a series of simple checklists and structured guidelines, that will help anyone who wishes to acquire and retain the best clients for their company.
Street theatre invades a public space, shakes it up and disappears, but the memory of the disruption haunts the site for audiences who experience it. This book looks at how the dynamic interrelationship of performance, participant and place creates a politicized aesthetic of public space that enables the public to rehearse democratic practices.
‘Unlike an operation to catch rabbits, trapping an elephant calls for expertise over enthusiasm. Those who hunt rabbits are rarely able to rope in elephants.’ In The Elephant Catchers, Subroto Bagchi distils his years of on-the-ground learning to explore what organizations and their people must do to climb to the next level and beyond. Through a combination of engaging anecdotes from his experiences as co-founder, and subsequently Chairman, of Mindtree Ltd, as well as practical advice on growth-related issues such as dealing with consultants or navigating strategy traps and M&As, Bagchi demonstrates a crucial point: Organizations with real ambition to get to the top need to embrace the idea of scale. The book leads you to evaluate: • Is your organization’s infrastructure designed to evolve and ultimately mimic the simultaneity of a living organism? • Are you constantly nurturing and renewing your brand identity or letting it stagnate and decay? • Does your sales force have as many hunters as it has farmers? Or is it dominated by a grizzly who just waits for the salmon to land in its mouth? • In a fiercely competitive environment, are you really stepping ‘out of the box’ and learning from unusual sources? Engaging, wise and thoroughly accessible, this book is a must-read for everyone in every organization seeking breakout success.