The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature
Author: Jordan Fisher Smith
The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks. When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. The proceedings drew to the witness stand some of the most important figures in twentieth century wilderness management, including the eminent zoologist A. Starker Leopold, who had produced a landmark conservationist document in the 1950s, and all-American twin researchers John and Frank Craighead, who ran groundbreaking bear studies at Yellowstone. Their testimony would help decide whether the government owed the Walker family restitution for Harry's death, but it would also illuminate decades of patchwork efforts to preserve an idea of nature that had never existed in the first place. In this remarkable excavation of American environmental history, nature writer and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith uses Harry Walker's story to tell the larger narrative of the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Tracing a course from the founding of the national parks through the tangled twentieth-century growth of the conservationist movement, Smith gives the lie to the portrayal of national parks as Edenic wonderlands unspoiled until the arrival of Europeans, and shows how virtually every attempt to manage nature in the parks has only created cascading effects that require even more management. Moving across time and between Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks, Engineering Eden shows how efforts at wilderness management have always been undone by one fundamental problem--that the idea of what is "wild" dissolves as soon as we begin to examine it, leaving us with little framework to say what wilderness should look like and which human interventions are acceptable in trying to preserve it. In the tradition of John McPhee's The Control of Nature and Alan Burdick's Out of Eden, Jordan Fisher Smith has produced a powerful work of popular science and environmental history, grappling with critical issues that we have even now yet to resolve.
A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra
Author: Jordan Fisher Smith
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A park ranger shares his experiences on the edge of civilization in the Sierras, including his confrontations with criminals and extreme sports enthusiasts, and his gruesome discovery of a female jogger who had been killed and partially consumed by a mountain lion. Reprint.
The Bear Crisis and a Tale of Rewilding from Yosemite, Sequoia, and Other National Parks
Author: Rachel Mazur
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Sports & Recreation
As majestic as they are dangerous, and as timeless as they are current, bears continue to captivate readers. Speaking of Bears is not your average collection of stories. Rather it is the history, compiled from interviews with over 100 individuals, of how Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks, all in California’s Sierra Nevada, created a human-bear problem so bad that there were eventually over 2,000 incidents in a single year. It then describes the pivotal moments during which park employees used trial-and-error, conducted research, invented devices, collaborated with other parks, and found funding to get the crisis back under control. Speaking of Bears is for bear lovers, national park buffs, historians, wildlife managers, biologists, policy and grant-makers, and anyone who wants to know the who, what, where, when, and why of what once was a serious human-bear problem, and the path these parks took to correct it. Although these Sierran parks had some of the worst black bear problems in the country, hosted much of the research, and invented the bulk of the technological solutions, they were not the only ones. For that reason, intertwining stories from several other parks including Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Banff-Canada are included. For anyone seeking solutions to human-wildlife conflicts throughout the world, the lessons-learned are invaluable and widely applicable.
Author: Bill McKibben
Publisher: Random House
Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth. This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben's argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth's environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement. More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike.
Technologies of Tracking and the Making of Modern Wildlife
Author: Etienne Benson
Publisher: JHU Press
Scholars of and researchers involved in wildlife management will find this history both fascinating and revealing.
Jefferson, Custer, and the Spirit of the West
Author: Larry Len Peterson
Publisher: Sweetgrass Books
Category: Social Science
American Trinity is for everyone who loves the American West and wants to learn more about the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is a sprawling story with a scholarly approach in method but accessible in manner. In this innovative examination, Dr. Larry Len Peterson explores the origins, development, and consequences of hatred and racism from the time modern humans left Africa 100,000 years ago to the forced placement of Indian children on off-reservation schools far from home in the late 1800s. Along the way, dozens of notable individuals and cultures are profiled. Many historical events turned on the lives of legendary Americans like the "Father of the West," Thomas Jefferson, and the "Son of the West," George Armstrong Custer - two strange companions who shared an unshakable sense of their own skills - as their interpretation of truths motivated them in the winning of the West. Dr. Peterson reveals how anti-Indian sentiments were always only obliquely about them. They were victims but not the cause. The Indian was a symbol, not a real person. The politics of hate and racism directed toward them was also experienced in prior centuries by Jews, enslaved Africans, and other Christians. Hatred and racism, when taken into the public domain, are singularly difficult to justify, which is why Europeans and Americans have always sought vindication from the highest sources of authority in their cultures. In the Middle Ages it was religion supplemented later by the philosophy of the Enlightenment. In nineteenth-century Europe and America, religion and philosophy were joined by science and medicine to support Manifest Destiny, scientific racism, and social Darwinism, all of which had profound consequences on Native Americans and the Spirit of the West. Presenting research in anthropology, archaeology, biology, history, law, medicine, religion, philosophy, and psychology, Dr. Peterson provides the latest observations that delineate why the Native American's life was destroyed. American Trinity is a stunning portrait, a view at once unique, panoramic, and intimate. It is a fascinating book that will make you think about the differences between belief and knowledge; about the self-skepticism of science and medicine; and about what aspects of the world we take on faith.
Author: Muriel Lederman,Ingrid Bartsch
Publisher: Psychology Press
The Gender and Science Reader brings together key writings by leading scholars to provide a comprehensive feminist analysis of the nature and practice of science. Challenging the self-proclaimed objectivity of scientific practice, the contributors uncover the gender, class and racial prejudices of modern science. The Reader draws from a range of media, including feminist criticism, scientific literature, writings about scientific education, and the popular press. Articles are grouped into six thematic sections which address: * Women in Science - women's access to study and employment in science, combining both analytical evidence and personal testimonies * Creating Andocentric Science - exploring the gendered origins of science at the time of the Enlightenment * Analyzing Gendered Science - feminist methodologies and epistemology for the study of science * Gendered Praxis - examples of how gender bias can affect and distort scientific work * Science and Identity - how science reinforces gender and racial stereotypes * Feminist Re-Structuring of Science - what is the future of feminist science studies? In addition to a general introduction by the editors to the volume, and introductions to each of the thematic sections, the Reader also includes a comprehensive bibliography of feminist science studies, making it an indispensible resource for anyone involved in the teaching, research or study of science.
Author: John Clayton
Publisher: Pegasus Books
An evocative blend of history and nature writing that tells the story of Yellowstone’s evolving significance in American culture through the stories of ten iconic figures. Yellowstone is America's premier national park. Today is often a byword for conservation, natural beauty, and a way for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors. But it was not always this way. Wonderlandscape presents a new perspective on Yellowstone, the emotions various natural wonders and attractions evoke, and how this explains the park's relationship to America as a whole. Whether it is artists or naturalists, entrepreneurs or pop-culture icons, each character in the story of Yellowstone ends up reflecting and redefining the park for the values of its era. For example, when Ernest Thompson Seton wanted to observe bears in 1897, his adventures highlighted the way the park transformed from a set of geological oddities to a wildlife sanctuary, reflecting a nation was concerned about disappearing populations of bison and other species. Subsequent eras added Rooseveltian masculinity, democratic patriotism, ecosystem science, and artistic inspiration as core Yellowstone hallmarks. As the National Park system enters its second century, Wonderlandscape allows us to reflect on the values and heritage that Yellowstone alone has come to represent—how it will shape the America's relationship with her land for generations to come.
The Female Poisoner and the Framing of Popular Authorship in Jacksonian America
Author: Sara L. Crosby
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Category: Literary Criticism
According to Sara Crosby, the new popular ‘power of horror’—in writings by Poe and many others—gave American authors a new way of moving beyond beauty through the ‘poisonous muse.’ This new power corresponds to the vitalizing changes in Jacksonian America and brings with it a major change in US literary history. Her study of these changes in the US cultural scene is an incredibly engaging, vibrant narrative.
Author: Steven R. Beissinger,David D. Ackerly,Holly Doremus,Gary Machlis
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Today, more than 292 million tourists visit U.S. national parks each year, enjoying the great outdoors and taking selfies with buffalos. And nearly 25,000 professionals, many of them scientists, help guide and educate those tourists. This is all thanks to a group assembled by Stephen T. Mather and Horace M. Albright in 1915 at a still-burgeoning University of California Berkeley campus. Together they plotted a future for the country s existing and evolving national parks. The result was legislation establishing the National Park Service, signed by Woodrow Wilson in 1916. The primary purpose of the park system was to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations . This statement of purpose has always harbored both tension and ambiguity as it does not envision a future in which that conservation and enjoyment of park resources might come into conflict, much less offer principles for striking a balance between the two. Nor does it explain what it means to keep park resources unimpaired for the future, which is where the divide between acceptable and unacceptable change to the parks might lie. Nor, finally, does it define or limit the universe of activities that constitute legitimate enjoyment of park resources. Those are questions that cannot be answered in the abstract, or forever. The principles articulated in the Organic Act are unchanging, but the way those principles apply to specific facts is necessarily a function of the times. How the mission of the US National Park System is interpreted has implications that go well beyond the resolution of specific management conflicts. In 2014, in anticipation of the 2016 centennial of the NPS s establishment, a group of incredible scientists and naturalists gathered at UC Berkeley, in partnership with National Geographic Society, and the NPS, to explore the history, present, and future of the NPS. Science for Parks, Parks for Science is a synthesis of that summit, as well as an opportunity for those who weren t among the 1,000 attendees to read and experience the level of scientific exchange and debate, and the policy implications that followed. Taking on that responsibility, this volume becomes not only a catalyst for park conservation in the US, but also an inspiration for park systems and management the world over."
Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet
Author: Thomas M. Kostigen
Publisher: Harper Collins
“A passionate and heartfelt call to care.” —Bruce Feiler, New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and America’s Prophet In You Are Here, Thomas Kostigen, the New York Times bestselling co-author of The Green Book, takes us to the most extreme environmental areas on the planet to show how what we do from the comfort of our own home affects people, places, and things everywhere. A timely, much-needed alarm that recalls Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth combined with a compelling travel narrative reminiscent of Anthony Bourdain with straight ahead Anderson Cooper-like reporting, You Are Here is “an intriguing and insightful account that deserves to be read by everyone” (Mark Plotkin, Time Magazine Hero for the Planet).
Author: John McPhee
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
While John McPhee was working on his previous book, Rising from the Plains, he happened to walk by the engineering building at the University of Wyoming, where words etched in limestone said: "Strive on--the control of Nature is won, not given." In the morning sunlight, that central phrase--"the control of nature"--seemed to sparkle with unintended ambiguity. Bilateral, symmetrical, it could with equal speed travel in opposite directions. For some years, he had been planning a book about places in the world where people have been engaged in all-out battles with nature, about (in the words of the book itself) "any struggle against natural forces--heroic or venal, rash or well advised--when human beings conscript themselves to fight against the earth, to take what is not given, to rout the destroying enemy, to surround the base of Mt. Olympus demanding and expecting the surrender of the gods." His interest had first been sparked when he went into the Atchafalaya--the largest river swamp in North America--and had learned that virtually all of its waters were metered and rationed by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project called Old River Control. In the natural cycles of the Mississippi's deltaic plain, the time had come for the Mississippi to change course, to shift its mouth more than a hundred miles and go down the Atchafalaya, one of its distributary branches. The United States could not afford that--for New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and all the industries that lie between would be cut off from river commerce with the rest of the nation. At a place called Old River, the Corps therefore had built a great fortress--part dam, part valve--to restrain the flow of the Atchafalaya and compel the Mississippi to stay where it is. In Iceland, in 1973, an island split open without warning and huge volumes of lava began moving in the direction of a harbor scarcely half a mile away. It was not only Iceland's premier fishing port (accounting for a large percentage of Iceland's export economy) but it was also the only harbor along the nation's southern coast. As the lava threatened to fill the harbor and wipe it out, a physicist named Thorbjorn Sigurgeirsson suggested a way to fight against the flowing red rock--initiating an all-out endeavor unique in human history. On the big island of Hawaii, one of the world's two must eruptive hot spots, people are not unmindful of the Icelandic example. McPhee went to Hawaii to talk with them and to walk beside the edges of a molten lake and incandescent rivers. Some of the more expensive real estate in Los Angeles is up against mountains that are rising and disintegrating as rapidly as any in the world. After a complex coincidence of natural events, boulders will flow out of these mountains like fish eggs, mixed with mud, sand, and smaller rocks in a cascading mass known as debris flow. Plucking up trees and cars, bursting through doors and windows, filling up houses to their eaves, debris flows threaten the lives of people living in and near Los Angeles' famous canyons. At extraordinary expense the city has built a hundred and fifty stadium-like basins in a daring effort to catch the debris. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strategies and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking in his vivid depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those who would attempt to wrest control from her--stubborn, often ingenious, and always arresting characters.
Environmental Activism in American History
Author: Kevin C. Armitage
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
In this concise and engaging survey of more than 250 years of American environmental activism to protect the natural world and promote a healthy human society, historian Kevin Armitage tells the story of a magnificent American achievement—and the ongoing problems that environmentalism faces today.
Author: Jane Jacobs
Category: Social Science
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Author: C. G. Jung
Category: Social Science
Man and His Symbols owes its existence to one of Jung's own dreams. The great psychologist dreamed that his work was understood by a wide public, rather than just by psychiatrists, and therefore he agreed to write and edit this fascinating book. Here, Jung examines the full world of the unconscious, whose language he believed to be the symbols constantly revealed in dreams. Convinced that dreams offer practical advice, sent from the unconscious to the conscious self, Jung felt that self-understanding would lead to a full and productive life. Thus, the reader will gain new insights into himself from this thoughtful volume, which also illustrates symbols throughout history. Completed just before his death by Jung and his associates, it is clearly addressed to the general reader. Praise for Man and His Symbols “This book, which was the last piece of work undertaken by Jung before his death in 1961, provides a unique opportunity to assess his contribution to the life and thought of our time, for it was also his firsat attempt to present his life-work in psychology to a non-technical public. . . . What emerges with great clarity from the book is that Jung has done immense service both to psychology as a science and to our general understanding of man in society, by insisting that imaginative life must be taken seriously in its own right, as the most distinctive characteristic of human beings.”—Guardian “Straighforward to read and rich in suggestion.”—John Barkham, Saturday Review Syndicate “This book will be a resounding success for those who read it.”—Galveston News-Tribune “A magnificent achievement.”—Main Currents “Factual and revealing.”—Atlanta Times
A True Story of Murder in the Arctic
Author: Lawrence Millman
At the End of the World is the remarkable story of a series of murders that occurred in an extremely remote corner of the Arctic in 1941. Those murders show that senseless violence in the name of religion is not only a contemporary phenomenon, and that a people as seemingly peaceful as the Inuit can become unpeaceful at the drop of a hat or, in this instance, a meteor shower. At the same time, the book is a warning cry against the destruction of what’s left of our culture’s humanity, along the destruction of the natural world. Has technology deprived us of our eyes? the author asks. Has it deprived the world of birds, beasts, and flowers? Lawrence Millman's At the End of the World is a brilliant and original book by one of the boldest writers of our era.
and Prehistoric Megafauna
Author: Bob Strauss
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
A field guide to 60 dinosaurs and prehistoric animals that once lived in what is now North America. Featuring stunning illustrations of each animal by world-famous artist Sergey Krosovskiy and based on the latest paleontogical research, this book provides information about the where and when the animals lived, what they ate, and more.
A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
Author: Luke Dittrich
Publisher: Random House
“Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King”* in this propulsive, haunting journey into the life of the most studied human research subject of all time, the amnesic known as Patient H.M. For readers of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks comes a story that has much to teach us about our relentless pursuit of knowledge. Winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • New York Post • NPR • The Economist • New York • Wired • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage In 1953, a twenty-seven-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison—who suffered from severe epilepsy—received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today. Patient H.M. is, at times, a deeply personal journey. Dittrich’s grandfather was the brilliant, morally complex surgeon who operated on Molaison—and thousands of other patients. The author’s investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history, and to reveal the tragedy that fueled his grandfather’s relentless experimentation—experimentation that would revolutionize our understanding of ourselves. Dittrich uses the case of Patient H.M. as a starting point for a kaleidoscopic journey, one that moves from the first recorded brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the cutting-edge laboratories of MIT. He takes readers inside the old asylums and operating theaters where psychosurgeons, as they called themselves, conducted their human experiments, and behind the scenes of a bitter custody battle over the ownership of the most important brain in the world. Patient H.M. combines the best of biography, memoir, and science journalism to create a haunting, endlessly fascinating story, one that reveals the wondrous and devastating things that can happen when hubris, ambition, and human imperfection collide. Praise for Patient H.M. “An exciting, artful blend of family and medical history.”—The New York Times “In prose both elegant and intimate, and often thrilling, Patient H.M. is an important book about the wages not of sin but of science.”—The Washington Post “Spellbinding . . . The fact that Dittrich looks critically at the actual process of scientific investigation is just one of the things to admire about Patient H.M.”—The New York Times Book Review “Patient H.M. tells one of the most fascinating and disturbing stories in the annals of medicine, weaving in ethics, philosophy, a personal saga, the history of neurosurgery, the mysteries of human memory, and an exploration of human ego.”—Sheri Fink, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Five Days at Memorial “This is classic reporting and myth-making at the same time.”—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin *Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A Lone Cat’s Walk Across America
Author: William Stolzenburg
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Late one June night in 2011, a large animal collided with an SUV cruising down a Connecticut parkway. The creature appeared as something out of New England's forgotten past. Beside the road lay a 140-pound mountain lion. Speculations ran wild, the wildest of which figured him a ghostly survivor from a bygone century when lions last roamed the eastern United States. But a more fantastic scenario of facts soon unfolded. The lion was three years old, with a DNA trail embarking from the Black Hills of South Dakota on a cross-country odyssey eventually passing within thirty miles of New York City. It was the farthest landbound trek ever recorded for a wild animal in America, by a barely weaned teenager venturing solo through hostile terrain. William Stolzenburg retraces his two-year journey--from his embattled birthplace in the Black Hills, across the Great Plains and the Mississippi River, through Midwest metropolises and remote northern forests, to his tragic finale upon Connecticut's Gold Coast. Along the way, the lion traverses lands with people gunning for his kind, as well as those championing his cause. Heart of a Lion is a story of one heroic creature pitting instinct against towering odds, coming home to a society deeply divided over his return. It is a testament to the resilience of nature, and a test of humanity's willingness to live again beside the ultimate symbol of wildness.