It's an interesting story that merits a better narrative. This should be titled "In the Company of Elephants" rather than "Elephant Company" because the first two thirds of the book is all pre World War II and it's the most engaging part. has been added to your Cart. India has the most, but the second-largest population of elephants in the world is found in Myanmar, with 4,000 in the wild and 4,000 in captivity. number of domesticated elephants in Burma and gives a historical perspective on the logging industry. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, Historical India & South Asia Biographies, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Croke did not disappoint me! On the other hand, it's the tale of the tragedies that are inevitable when humans exploit the labor and other products of non-human animals. If you thought Chimpanzees could handle tools, you should read about elephants building roads and bridges and solving engineering problems along the way! The portion of the book devoted to the war is relatively small, but by the time I reached this part of the book I was totally engrossed in the story of Billy Williams and the amazing elephants. It is funny that it is called Elephant Company, because the book isn't so much about how the elephants were used during the war (only about a third of the book covers it. I kept thinking, as I read this book, that the author had gotten too close to her subject’s family and perhaps lost some objectivity as a result. How To Revive Dying Plant : … They were then protected by the Burma Wildlife Protection Act, 1936 (revised in 1956), under which hunting was prohibited except by licence. He was hired to oversee the elephant "workers" at multiple camps throughout the northeast of the country. Captain James “Billy” Williams was discharged from the British Army in 1920 after serving in combat for four years in WWI. And how do you quantify that? To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Only about 2,500 of Burma’s elephants survived the conflict according to Gale (1974), who wrote that “it is incredible that such a large number of giants should vanish so … It’s a solid and easy read with some interesting pictures. I wasn't thrilled to read it based on the title and description, but both proved to be misleading. Please help. While elephants did play a big part in the war in Burma, the book is really about Elephant Bill and the elephants he loved. Elephants have played a crucial role in the exploitation of teak for over 200 years. Burma Elephant Report EleAid trustee Charles Begley has long had an interest in the status and circumstances of elephants in Burma. ), but his love and respect for elephants (especially Bandoola) and keen desire for more humane treatment and training is a constant theme. A book comes along like this once in a lifetime. Also when the Japanese invade Burma and advance towards the small settlements, the hero of the story with some elephants are able to bring many Burmese and British families from Burma to safety in India. It chronicles Burmese jungle culture and how that conflicts with British colonialism, Jim's affinity with the elephants, how he meets his wife in the jungle, and provides more information about elephants than you ever probably thought you needed to know. This read, to me, as if Kipling had set out to write a biography. I'm surprised by the high reviews here (and the positive critical reviews that this book received). The last section of the book about rescuing indigenous refugees was moving, but not the main subject of the book as implied in the title although building the elephant staircase was pretty cool. The portion of the book devoted to the war is relatively small, but by the time I reached this part of the book I was totally engrossed in the story of Billy Williams and the amazing elephants. Individuals are allowed to make such statements of hyperbole, we excuse individuals their enthusiasm, but when a biographer states such things as fact, it is simply ridi. Don't get me wrong: fantastic book about an incredible guy... but very little of the book is about the elephants in WWII. Recommended. Bandoola was a massive Asian elephant the same age as Williams, and it’s hard not to think of them as twins, only different species. Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2014. The Forgotten Highlander: An Incredible WWII Story of Survival in the Pacific, Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II, The Night Portrait: A Novel of World War II and da Vinci's Italy. Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father's plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants, risking their lives to save Nick's father and Mya's brother from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. I'm torn on this book. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. I have read many accounts of elephants, including personal journals and other systematic, extensive discourses. Elephant Company The Inspiring Story of An Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II (Book) : Croke, Vicki : "At the onset of World War II, [Billy] Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own 'Hannibal Trek,' [becoming] a media sensation during the war, telling reporters … As a result, many of the Karen turned to Christ quickly, and a lasting witness thrives there even today. Unexpected relationship between elephants & humans of Burma (Book Review) May 02. Much of the book is about his overcoming obstacles (language, working environment, health, etc. Working elephants of mountainous Myanmar and northeastern India haul timber or transport people by day, then return to the forest at night. I had hoped for more of the book to be about the World War II aspect but quickly discovered that the best part was his finding himself in the jungle. These elephants have survived ancient wars, colonialism and World War II while hard woods extracted by elephants in Myanmar once fed the British naval fleet. On the one hand, it tells the story of a man becoming something of a proto-animal rights advocate, as his work with elephants makes him realize how intelligent, emotionally mature and generous they can be. A side tangent in this book is the loyalty of the Burmese throughout the trials and tribulations of their colonial occupiers. It's not dry at all. The portion of the book devoted to the war is relatively small, but by the time I reached this part of the book I was totally engrossed in the story of Billy Williams and the amazing elephants. 11:53 2019. Start by marking “Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II” as Want to Read: Error rating book. As a child growing up in Cornwall, England, he often set out alone to explore the countryside. (Prices may vary for AK and HI.). He even found the love of his life in the jungle, a niece of another teak man, who was visiting him in the middle of nowhere. 1940. Rather than being trained with force, a master mahout named Po Toke trained Bandoola with tenderness. In 1920, James Howard Williams began working in the teak logging camps of Burma (now Myanmar). Even though jungle life in Burma could be dangerous, there were so many descriptions of joy and beauty that were completely transfixing. Unfailingly? Something went wrong. After Burma’s last king fled into exile, the British drafted elephants to work in the lucrative teak-logging industry. Mesmerized by the intelligence and character of the great animals who hauled logs through … How do you explain these. The essay mainly illustrates how a white British imperial police officer in Burma reacted and responded when he ought to encounter a ravaging elephant while he was on duty. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. 'Shooting an Elephant' is Orwell's searing and painfully honest account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma; killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd 'solely to avoid looking a fool'. Learn more about the program. /DIVIn 1941, bombs drop from the night skies of London, demolishing the apartment Nick Freestone lives in with his mother. 4 stars, Elephant Company / Vicki Constantine Croke - 3.5***, Readers' Most Anticipated Books of January. Before leaving Burma Williams could name a thousand elephants individually, which is something I find remarkable. Williams knew Field Marshall Slim and Orde Wingate. Looking for adventure and a change of scenery, he accepted a job with a British company in Burma (known as Myanmar today) that was harvesting teak from the jungles. While a portion of the book is about the elephant company in World War II, it is more about Jim Williams, better known as "Elephant Bill," who worked for the British to oversee logging operations in Burma after World War I. There he trained them to haul teak logs out of the isolated jungles. English; Français; Working elephants in the forests of Burma. by India Post Newspaper 0 Comments . Books Best Sellers & more Top New Releases Deals in Books School Books Textbooks Books Outlet Children's Books Calendars & Diaries Audible Audiobooks Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more Prime members enjoy fast & free shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and many more exclusive benefits. The second half of the book, focusing on World War II, is even worse. Although his elephants did good work building bridges and leading refugees to India, barely escaping the clutches of the brutal Japanese, "Elephant Bill's" elephants were not vital or even important. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. He elected to try the hard life in Burma as a Forest Assistant with the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation which milled teak. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Discover Taiwan’s story—a story of an island that walks a tightrope searching for its identity, balance, and fate. If you want to discover two crucial periods in the history of India without reading boring textbooks, then check out this book! After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. $1,900.00 per adult. At dinner last night, my host said that, after reading some of the book that I had loaned her, went out and bought a copy so she could read the ending in a copy of her own because she felt she needed to own it herself. It's written in a very interesting way. Mystical. I did read Bandoola the Elephant many years ago so it was really good to read more of him too. Refresh and try again. Guest Book; English. Elephants and Burma--what a combination of mysteries. By the time WWII came about he knew over 600 elephants by name just by the sight of them. This is a fascinating story. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. Individuals are allowed to make such statements of hyperbole, we excuse individuals their enthusiasm, but when a biographer states such things as fact, it is simply ridiculous – she could have easily put this in his own words (which is how I suspect she wanted to write the entire book, but perhaps only had fragments) or allowed some qualifiers, “thought, said, seemed, appeared.” Yes, they’re awkward, but when you’re writing non-fiction you need to stick to the facts. Since, as far as I could tell, no Burmese was ever consulted about the events in the book, the account seemed rather unbalanced, especially in the telling of this critical event. The increased and violent poaching in Africa of elephants makes me glad Bill Williams is no longer around to witness man's cruelty towards his friends. British Path é ... Myanmar's Unemployed Elephants | The New York Times - Duration: 4:39. (Elephant Bill) himself. Nearby Experiences. After reading this unforgettable story, I recommended it to three other people who immediately bought it. The man is amazing, but the elephants steal the show. In this thrilling journey through the jungles of Burma, Roland Smith explores the far-reaching effects of World War II, while introducing readers to the fascinating world of wild timber elephants and their mahouts. Bill Williams was called "Elephant Bill" and was a man of some renown in the British Empire. Out of every Asian country which is home to elephants, Burma has the largest remaining intact areas of natural habitat. If you want to discover the captivating history of the Opium Wars and Qing Dynasty, then check out this book. Born in 1897, during the declining years of the British colonial empire, J.H. According to the Protection of Wildlife and Wild Plants and the … This is an amazing real life story of an Englishman, Billy Williams, who went to Burma in the 1920's to work with elephants for a teak company. Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father's plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants, risking their lives to save Nick's father and Mya's brother from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But most of all, you never forget the elephants! The essay describes the experience of the English narrator, possibly Orwell himself, called upon to shoot an aggressive elephant while working as a police officer in Burma. Setting off on elephant back, they will risk their lives to save Nick''s father and Mya''s brother from a Japanese POW camp. Our most popular tours and activities. With regard to elephant management in Myanmar, elephants were first legally protected under the Elephant Preservation Act 1879 (Saw Han, 1984) that regulated hunting and capture. She's very bright, worldly, trilingual kid so I'm thinking this might be good. Asian elephants are found in 13 countries. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. I anticipated reading this book for a long time after viewing several glowing reviews. Print This Article Share it With Friends. Bill Williams was called "Elephant Bill" and was a man of s. Absolutely fascinating. by Random House, Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. This is a remarkable account of an Englishman's life in Burma before, during and after the Second World War. 11:53 2019. The portion of the book devoted to the war is relatively small, but by the time I reached this part of the book I was totally engrossed in the story of Billy Williams and the amazing elephants. The amazing part of the book was how the elephants faithfully … I can highly recommend this book. The author is oddly uncritical of both her subject and the broader colonial milieu in which he operates; in that respect, the book reminded me of Roald Dahl. New books! Mr. Williams arrived in Burma in 1920 following service in WWI to harvest teak for his British company. I loved this book although I love books with animals and their relationships with people. More recently, I read Jacob Shell’s book about Asian elephants in Burma and India, “ Giants of the Monsoon Forest.” He ends up advocating for using … There is nothing wrong with this, really, but she didn’t seem to balance it out with much else. If you are interested in WWII, this is a great novel for you. But it's all relative isn't it? Unable to add item to List. Looking for adventure and a change of scenery, he accepted a job with a British company in Burma (known as Myanmar today) that was harvesting teak from the jungles. They translated the book of Matthew into Burmese, making it the first text to be printed in the Burmese language. Unexpected relationship between elephants & humans of Burma (Book Review) May 02. He then formed the first Elephant Company to make bridges and also save refugees by helping them flee Burma and into India. But as soon as Nick arrives, trouble erupts in this remote Burmese elephant village. by India Post Newspaper 0 Comments . This book seems to be the truer version but is much more than that. Other experiences in Yangon (Rangoon) 4-day Highlights of Yangon - Bago - Yangon . There he trained them to haul teak logs out of the isolated jungles. Please try again. 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