Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves

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I found that even though the author’s political associates are not and have not been mine, her recommended readings include everything I would pick, several of which I have reviewed for City Book Review. I find myself in complete agreement with her proposed solutions to the sometimes fraught agricultural interactions with wolves.

Reflecting a lifetime of journalism and advocacy, Peterson’s Wolf Nation is a complex, admirable, immersive overview. The work touches upon and is respectful of the government-land-grazing ranchers who have historically been adamant against wolf reintroduction and even survival. The author had her own origins in a hunting family, and her understanding of them makes her persuasions more authentic. She touches upon the sometimes mystic affiliations for wolves among naturists and First Nations people. While not often submerging in those viewpoints, she gives sincere credence to the belief. They are her allies, after all.

There is significant learning to be had here, such as the ancestries of North American and Mexican Gray wolves, of the Eastern Coyote hybrids, and of the actual origin of our companion species, the dogs. (They derive from a now-extinct wolf species, not the modern Grays.)

The elements of conflict in this tale revolve around anxiety and frustration at successive waves of “endangered” registration and deregistration, at often murderous poachers, and at unthinking hatred for the natural bond of predator and prey.

Gripping and wonderfully lucid, this is both an entrancing and necessary read.

Reviewed By:

Author Brenda Peterson
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 240 pages
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publish Date 2017-May-02
ISBN 9780306824937
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue May 2017
Category Science & Nature


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