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Deciduous forests have been remarkably resilient throughout their history, recovering from major shifts in climate and surviving periods of massive deforestation. But today the world's great forests confront more ominous threats than ever before. This visionary book is the first to examine forests consisting of oaks, maples, hickories, beeches, chestnuts, birches and ecologically similar animals and plants on three continents--East Asia, Europe, and North America--to reveal their common origin back in time, the ecological patterns they share, and the approaches to conservation that have been attempted on their behalf. Although these forests face common problems, threats due to human activities vary. Different land use and agricultural practices on the three continents, as well as different attitudes about what is worth preserving, have led to strikingly different approaches to forest conservation. Robert Askins explores the strengths and weaknesses of conservation efforts across the continents and concludes that the ideal strategy for the future will blend the best ideas from each.