American Wolf
The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her Before men ruled the Earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West. With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, a charismatic alpha female named O-Six for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly Yellowstone park ranger Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world. But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park's stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley. These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multi-generational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the clash of values in the West--between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country's most iconic landscapes.

American Wolf Details

TitleAmerican Wolf
Author
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherCrown Publishing Group (NY)
ISBN-139781101902783
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Animals, Environment, Nature, Science, Natural History

American Wolf Review

  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    this is my nonfiction book for the month, chosen because i like wolves, but sean of the house LOVES wolves, and i was going to give this to him when i finished, but i'm afraid it would break his sensitive irish heart.according to this book, wolves have a life expectancy of about five years in the wild, and this book chronicles several generations of wolves living in yellowstone, so you do the math there. this book was pulled together from the well-detailed accounts of the wolf-watchers in yellow this is my nonfiction book for the month, chosen because i like wolves, but sean of the house LOVES wolves, and i was going to give this to him when i finished, but i'm afraid it would break his sensitive irish heart.according to this book, wolves have a life expectancy of about five years in the wild, and this book chronicles several generations of wolves living in yellowstone, so you do the math there. this book was pulled together from the well-detailed accounts of the wolf-watchers in yellowstone; individuals who devoted their lives to observing these magnificent beasts every day, coming to know their behaviors and ‘personalities,’ monitoring their struggles for dominance within their packs, their clashes with other packs, and witnessing births and deaths in an ever-changing pack dynamic.as i said, i like wolves, but in a casual “oh, how lovely they are” way without being any kind of wolf scholar or anything, so i learned a lot from this book. i didn’t know that wolves had been eliminated from yellowstone (and most of the US) in the ’20’s in order to protect the park’s delicious elk, deer, moose, & etc and were only reintroduced in 1995, when wolves imported from canada were allowed to return to an ecosystem that had actually been negatively impacted by their removal in the first place. what followed was a wolf explosion that did indeed restore the natural balance but also caused outrage in the local humans, as idaho, montana and wyoming are full of hunters and ranchers long accustomed to viewing wolves as a threat to their livelihood. so not only is the book full of the stories of the wolves under the park’s protection, but also about the inevitable wolf diaspora, as packs ranged outside of safety and caused no end of consternation and legislature about what should be done to protect the elk and cattle that humans were planning on killing. it’s Planet Earth meets Law & Order and both situations are fascinating in their own way. on the wolf side, the star of the book is the alpha female O-Six (named for the year of her birth)*, who made herself a favorite of yellowstone’s many wolf-watching groupies by demonstrating phenomenal abilities in hunting prowess, strategic evasion, admirable leadership qualities, and fecundity. if you google “O-Six and yellowstone,” you get the cliffs notes version of what happened to her, but you’d miss out on all the stories told in this book about her and her pack and her rivals. this is a nature book, so there’s no shoddy anthropomorphization, but it’s hard not to fall in love a little bit. internet assures me the following are all photos of her, and more can be found here.a superstar of a wolf.the legal track is absolutely bizarre; convoluted and counterintuitive. it involves the authorization of wolf-hunting in the three states surrounding yellowstone: idaho, montana and wyoming, and it turns into a mishmash of state and federal legislature, sneaky riders smooshed into unrelated bills, science vs. politics, rulings overturned, wolves placed on and off the endangered species list with shifting boundaries, and flinging money at the problem in such contradictory ways: one federal agency was reintroducing predators on public land, a second was leasing adjacent land to ranchers, and a third was dispatching trappers or men in helicopters to kill those same predators when they inevitably crossed paths with livestock. america is crazytown. it kind of hurts my heart a little to think of someone hunting a wolf, since there’s no “feeding my family” exemption, and it’s purely for sport or the protection of livestock (which i do understand, but cattle are big and dumb and delicious, and it’s not just wolves who get that - there are also bears and coyotes and probably some other beasts determined enough to attack a little one), but i will say that of all the wolves who died in this book, at least the ones shot by hunters died instantly, as opposed to the many who died of injuries sustained in territory disputes with other packs or starved to death.actually, scratch that - there was one wolf who was illegally shot by a hunter and wandered off to die slowly, and his story was the one that hit my heart the worst, because he was a collared wolf, so his location was known to the biologists working on the wolf restoration project, but because “they weren’t zookeepers, after all,” and didn’t intervene in the fates of the wolves, he slowly starved to death over the course of eleven days. again, this is a decision i understand with my brain, but it does nothing to soothe my heart. it’s like that scene in that BBC Africa documentary series where the baby elephant gets turned around in the sand storm and wanders in the opposite direction from the rest of the herd and dies and sir david attenborough just kinda shrugs and says, “nature, amiright?”** instead of swooping in to rotate the calf or at the very least, not airing that footage. because jeez.but i know, i know - when it comes to reading about/watching animals in the wild, it would be irresponsible to go into it thinking it’s going to be a disney paradise where animals help each other out and share the territory and no one ever eats anyone or wanders out into the storm, bawling piteously. nature gets hungry and nature doesn’t share.sure, sometimes someone forwards you some heartwarming story about a bear that adopts an orphaned raccoon and everyone goes “aawwwwww,” but generally speaking, in an environment with limited resources, benevolence to those outside of a very short range of community or family is a liability an animal cannot afford. wolves are pack animals, so loyalties extend somewhat outside of the pure family, but even within a pack, members submit to their alphas in frequent demonstrative ways, and wolves are also highly territorial, so when packs cross paths, carnage ensues. so, there are some parts of this book i know will ruin sean of the houses’s day, but he’s a particularly soft touch when it comes to animals, and if i could get him over that, i’m sure he would find this as fascinating and illuminating as i did, and be grateful that there are more wolves in our country, even if they don’t get to live as long as we’d like them to. * this is one of my few gripes - because they aren't pets, the wolves aren't given memorable people-names, but referred to by collar-numbers: 754, 820, 859 or, if uncollared, distinguishing markings or traits: middle gray, shy male. i am bad at math, so i got mixed-up sometimes.** that is what my heart heard him say, anyway.*********************************************full review still in the works, but definitely one for 'to-read' lists of those who can handle the end results of animals doing what animals do, and hunters doing what hunters do.
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  • Jessaka
    January 1, 1970
    Wolf 0-06“He decided he wanted the gray. He exhaled and squeezed the trigger…The gray staggered and dropped.It was a long walk through the snow to where she lay…This was a trophy very few people in his part of the would had ever taken…When he came within fifty yards of his prize he caught a glimpse of movement in the brush behind her. The black wolf had returned. His eyes on the hunter, he stepped cautiously out of the willows and sat down not far from where the gray lay…He seemed to be waiting Wolf 0-06“He decided he wanted the gray. He exhaled and squeezed the trigger…The gray staggered and dropped.It was a long walk through the snow to where she lay…This was a trophy very few people in his part of the would had ever taken…When he came within fifty yards of his prize he caught a glimpse of movement in the brush behind her. The black wolf had returned. His eyes on the hunter, he stepped cautiously out of the willows and sat down not far from where the gray lay…He seemed to be waiting to see what the hunter would do next…Then the black lifted his snout into the air and howled. It was the sound the hunter had heard many times over the years but never like this, alone in the snow with the wolf a stone’s throw away. He stood still and listened, transfixed. The wolf howled again, long and louder this time.From the willows behind the black, more wolves began to emerge…They arrayed themselves in a loose semicircle around the black, all silently focused on the body of the gray…The black howled a third time, and suddenly they all joined in. The hunter stood there, agape, disarmed by the otherworldly sound, by the sheer overwhelming sadness of the cry. She was their leader, he thought.”This book was powerful and unforgettable. If you think that you can’t stop the killing of wolves, well, you are wrong. Public outcry has worked. It still can.If you think that wolves can’t live peacefully with man, you are again wrong. Some are learning to stay away from ranches, but there is more that can be done, mostly outcry. Rick McIntyre worked for over 20 years at Yellowstone, just watching wolves all day long along with other watchers who could be seen parked along the roads with telescopes and cameras. My husband and I were driving through Yellowstone one day, and stopped when we saw cars and pickups parked along the road.I walked across the street to ask what was happening. A man told me that an elk was down and a bear and 5 wolves were fighting over it, but that the wolves had retreated. He allowed me to look through his binoculars. I saw nothing. He walked over to another man and then came back and took me over to look through another man’s telescope. I saw a white wolf. Then a black wolf was sitting down looking at the crowd. The man moved the telescope so that I could see the bear standing over the elk. I think I said, “Oh, my God!” I would have never had thought that I would even have wanted to see something like this. Me, who wishes no animals to be ever killed. But I wanted to stay there all day with them and wished I had come earlier. Rick never grew tired of it. He watched them play, fight, have cubs, go after their prey. He watched everything, and he took notes, but he never stayed away long enough to write a book. Perhaps these are his notes, or at least some of them.This book is mostly about his watching 0-06, the most famous of all the Yellowstone wolves. The fight between Fish and Game, the ranchers and the public has raged for years in and out of the courts. This is not an easy book to read. If you are a rancher you just want to kill every wolf, and I suppose this book would infuriate you. If you love wolves you will be brought to tears and then to anger. You will even ask yourself why the Department of Agriculture thinks it has to kill “ten of thousands of predators annually—mostly coyotes but also bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, foxes, and red-tailed hawks—just to protect the cattle and sheep. Have we ever thought to live differently? To allow life to survive on its own terms?The wolves’ impact on cattle has only been about 200 a year, whereas out of 5 million cattle across three States, tens of thousands have been killed every year by winter storms, lightning, floods and drought.” The wolves do so much less damage, but some people like to hunt, and then in time they can wipe out wolves, if we don’t put a stop to it.I had read another book right after coming home from our trip through Yellowstone, “In the Temple of Wolves” by Rick Lamplugh. He has suggestions online on what we can do to change things. He has a blog called, “How to Build a Culture that Respects Wolves.” I want to thank NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book. And I wish to thank the author for writing it, and hope that if he doesn’t put a wolf on the cover, then perhaps he will put a photo of the famous wolf, 0-06 in the inside cover.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Hoooooooooooowwwll!A visceral and dramatic look at the lives, deaths, and empires of Yellowstone's wolves. Animal stories done well are always incredible insights into the world around us. And this is a worthy addition to the catalogue. Based on thousands of hours of observation and a multi-million word journal, you could not get closer to the wolves of the park. A must-read if you loved H Is For Hawk or The Hidden Life Of Trees .
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  • Rebecca Foster
    January 1, 1970
    By the 1920s, wolves had almost been eradicated from the Lower 48 states. In 1995–6, though, two rival packs were brought in from Canada to repopulate Yellowstone National Park. Blakeslee gives a panoramic overview of the reintroduction project and the recurring clashes between hunters and biologists about whether wolves should be a protected species. He keeps his account relatable by focusing on particular family groups of wolves and bringing out the animals’ individual personalities.One import By the 1920s, wolves had almost been eradicated from the Lower 48 states. In 1995–6, though, two rival packs were brought in from Canada to repopulate Yellowstone National Park. Blakeslee gives a panoramic overview of the reintroduction project and the recurring clashes between hunters and biologists about whether wolves should be a protected species. He keeps his account relatable by focusing on particular family groups of wolves and bringing out the animals’ individual personalities.One important wolf pack was the Druids, which “were like the Kennedys, American royalty.” O-Six, an alpha female of the third generation so named because she was born in 2006, is one of the main animal characters here, with two central human characters being Rick McIntyre, a long-time National Park Service ranger and wolf expert, and Steven Turnbull (an alias), an elk hunter from Crandall, Wyoming.The 2011 federal budget snuck in a rider removing wolves from the endangered species list in Montana and Idaho. The same followed for Wyoming, heralding an open hunting season on wolves for the first time in 50 years. Though his sympathies are clear, Blakeslee doesn’t demonize those who killed Yellowstone wolves that strayed beyond the park boundaries. He also emphasizes that the battle over this species reflects a wider struggle “over public land—what it should be used for and who should have the right to decide.”It’s especially interesting to read about the animals’ behavior: a wolf uncle hanging around to help raise the pups, O-Six fighting off grizzlies near her den, showdowns between packs, and pups hunting mice and ravens for fun.Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck.
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  • Cori
    January 1, 1970
    I could picture in my mind the scenes described in this book. You will experience many emotions while reading this true story of the wild wolves in Yellowstone, their "caretakers", the observers, politicians and their hunters. Excellent story telling.
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  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    This was an emotional rollercoaster. The author recounts so much information about wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone national park with the passion of both sides. Rick McIntyre is a ranger obsessed with watching and getting to know the wolves of Yellowstone which essentially become his whole life. Then you have the politics in delisting wolves from the endangered species act giving people the right to trophy hunt. The author also goes into fascinating detail on how and why the wolves are so e This was an emotional rollercoaster. The author recounts so much information about wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone national park with the passion of both sides. Rick McIntyre is a ranger obsessed with watching and getting to know the wolves of Yellowstone which essentially become his whole life. Then you have the politics in delisting wolves from the endangered species act giving people the right to trophy hunt. The author also goes into fascinating detail on how and why the wolves are so ecologically beneficial. There is really something for everyone in here. Throughout this book I was reminded of why I loved Yellowstone so much when I got to visit and by the end I felt a deep connection to many of the wolves portrayed throughout but none more so than O-Six.I would recommend this book for anyone interested in wildlife and wish that anyone considering trophy hunting would read it.Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a digital arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
    January 1, 1970
    ~review copy was provideAMERICAN WOLF is a fascinating study of the wolves introduced into Yellowstone. What was so interesting to me was the recounting of their social structure. How much they were like extended families, with members going in and out of favor. There are sad moments, of course. We are talking about nature. But so many more great moments, like when the author connects the dots and shows how the introduction of wolves was actually good for bears and beavers and certainly flora. I ~review copy was provideAMERICAN WOLF is a fascinating study of the wolves introduced into Yellowstone. What was so interesting to me was the recounting of their social structure. How much they were like extended families, with members going in and out of favor. There are sad moments, of course. We are talking about nature. But so many more great moments, like when the author connects the dots and shows how the introduction of wolves was actually good for bears and beavers and certainly flora. I had a small problem with the people who were named. Probably because so many of them I came to hate. But mostly because my focus was on the wolves and wildlife. I'm very thankful to the author. Greatly appreciated this book. And even more thankful to the men who made a study of Yellowstone and the wolves their life's work. **As for the bastards who aren't clever enough to resolve their problems except by poisonings and shootings... I'm sure I won't be seeing your asses in heaven.
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  • R.Z.
    January 1, 1970
    When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 to help control the elk population, a unique opportunity arose to study these animals, how they behaved, how they mated, how they formed packs, and much much more. This is an account of that reintroduction and the subsequent years when thousands of tourists could watch through binoculars the antics of these wolves. It is also the story of the scientists who studied them and who became fond of particular wolves. Many of the wolv When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 to help control the elk population, a unique opportunity arose to study these animals, how they behaved, how they mated, how they formed packs, and much much more. This is an account of that reintroduction and the subsequent years when thousands of tourists could watch through binoculars the antics of these wolves. It is also the story of the scientists who studied them and who became fond of particular wolves. Many of the wolves had names or numbers such as O-Six, White Line, 480, Black Bar, Thin Female, and 690. The packs had names too such as the Druid Peak Pack, the Crystal Creek Pack, and the Rose Creek Pack. Some of the wolves were caught, tagged, and released, so that they and/or their packs could be tracked. Rick McIntyre worked for the National Park Service, knew these wolves better than anyone else, and was a wealth of information for author Nate Blakeslee. You also meet the hunters, the people for whom hunting was a way of life. The reader learns about the legal battles of the states surrounding Yellowstone about whether or not to make hunting legal or whether, instead, to protect the wolves that wander out of the park.This is an amazing piece of the history of our nation and of our parks. Immensely enjoyable!
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best books I've read/listened to this year.
  • Raquel
    January 1, 1970
    American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West is about the controversial reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and the resulting clash between hunters, ranchers, environmentalists, and politicians that followed. “Life for wolves was an adventure, but it was usually not a long one.”This book chronicles the lives of several generations of wolves from numerous packs in Yellowstone following their reintroduction in 1995. Told largely though the daily accounts of d American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West is about the controversial reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and the resulting clash between hunters, ranchers, environmentalists, and politicians that followed. “Life for wolves was an adventure, but it was usually not a long one.”This book chronicles the lives of several generations of wolves from numerous packs in Yellowstone following their reintroduction in 1995. Told largely though the daily accounts of dedicated biologists, park staff, and wolf enthusiasts, readers get to follow these wolves from young pups to adulthood as they struggle against both Mother Nature and human conflict to survive. Their stories are both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Outside of the park, heated legal battles took place to decide how wolves should fit into the western landscape. How large should the wolf population be in each state? Should wolves be delisted as an endangered species? How close to Yellowstone could wolves be hunted? With many local dynamics at play and the growing attention from a national audience, these were challenging questions to address. “Things will be better tomorrow”: that was the credo wolves lived by, Rick had long ago decided. Regardless of the hardship and misadventure that every pack inevitably faced, they were essentially optimists.” This is the non-fiction book I’m going to be recommending to everyone this year. I’d recommend it even if you are not really a fan of non-fiction work as the prose is very engaging and the book doesn’t delve too far into wolf biology if you’re not particularly interested natural history. This book gives you an appreciation for how complex the relationship is between man and wolf.*I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Amy Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss for the review copy of this book. I LOVED this book. Beautifully told I felt as if I were right there with the wolves. The story reads quickly almost like a work of fiction and the wolves draw you into their world very quickly. I found myself crying in several parts of the book. I can't wait for this to be released so I can recommend it to everyone!
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  • Maren
    January 1, 1970
    Surprisingly emotional and very timely. I think this will be the non-fiction big book of the fall.
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I have been in awe of wolves for as long as I can remember. Their strength and beauty, their speed and endurance, and their family bonds that are like few other animals. For years, I have read about them, admired them, and have even had the privilege of seeing a few at Wolf Haven in Washington state. In fact, there is a cookbook that was published years ago that gets mentioned at some point in the book - I have that cookbook. I have carried that cookbook around through more military moves than I I have been in awe of wolves for as long as I can remember. Their strength and beauty, their speed and endurance, and their family bonds that are like few other animals. For years, I have read about them, admired them, and have even had the privilege of seeing a few at Wolf Haven in Washington state. In fact, there is a cookbook that was published years ago that gets mentioned at some point in the book - I have that cookbook. I have carried that cookbook around through more military moves than I care to remember. I even looked up the very recipe I read about when I finished the book. So as I was saying, everything about wolves is incredible to me, not least of which is the story of their introduction to Yellowstone and the amazing recovery the park as a whole began to experience. So it was with some excitement - tinged with trepidation - that I picked up Nate Blakeslee's book. For all of the science that wolves have in their corner, for all of the people they have pulling for them, there remain those who believe the wolf is a fur-covered plague - an animal who has no meaning for existence other than to be killed. And no true and honest book about wolves can avoid this painful fact - which means, at its core, heartbreak for the reader who is a wolf advocate. The book covers the life - and yes, the death - of O-Six, a female wolf who led a very successful pack within the boundaries of Yellowstone. It covers the reintroduction of the wolves to the park, including much of the politics involved in that decision and in the years thereafter. Unusually, Blakeslee intersperses the fascinating details of the wolves with that of the hunter who killed O-Six. His real name is not given, and it is easy to understand why. There are alternating chapters throughout between what is happening with the wolves, and the thoughts and actions of the hunter. It makes for an unusually suspenseful account in a non-fiction book, but it works extremely well. Though I knew where the story was going - where it *must* be going - I still held my breath, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried. I cried for all of the people who had followed this amazing wolf for so long, I cried for her pack, and I cried for the lack of understanding that led to that point. Before I get vilified for being a snowflake - let me be clear: I grew up in a hunting family. We lived for years on the deer and the elk that we brought in, as well as the food we grew in our garden. I have no problem with those who hunt for food. I've done it, and my family does it. However, the idea of taking a life simply for the kill is abhorrent to me - as it should be to everyone. Killing just for the sake of killing is wrong, and should be condemned as such.The only downside to the arc that I got is that it had no pictures. I do hope that the finished version will have some, because I feel that it would be a tremendously impactful addition, for readers unfamiliar with the O-Six saga to be able to see and admire the pack(s). Otherwise - Blakeslee has done an incredible job showing wolves for the amazing creatures they are, making clear the politics that gets played with these creatures' lives, and showcasing the amazing people who give their all for these animals every single day. It's an amazing book, and one that I hope will open the eyes of more people to the enduring American spirit that is our American Wolf.
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  • Lyssa deHart
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy reading non-fiction nature studies. And, American Wolf, by Nate Blakeslee is a very interesting read. I had seen several documentaries on how the re-entry of wolves to Yellowstone had impacted the ecology, and as Blakeslee describes the benefit to the health of trees, streams, beavers, rodents, owls, hawks, and pretty much every species on the food chain, it was a good reminder that apex predators have an important role in the health of the environment. I appreciated the level headed tel I enjoy reading non-fiction nature studies. And, American Wolf, by Nate Blakeslee is a very interesting read. I had seen several documentaries on how the re-entry of wolves to Yellowstone had impacted the ecology, and as Blakeslee describes the benefit to the health of trees, streams, beavers, rodents, owls, hawks, and pretty much every species on the food chain, it was a good reminder that apex predators have an important role in the health of the environment. I appreciated the level headed telling of the stories of these wolves and the people involved in the study and the people who live in neighboring communities who hate the wolves. I felt that the author brought a humanistic view point that explored the multiple facets of the complex situation. That said, I don’t feel like the loss of cattle, sheep, or the elk becoming smarter and harder to hunt, are valid reasons for killing wolves. I grew up with a grandfather who ranched in Colorado and I have ridden horses up into the mountains to move cattle from one pasture to another, so I have some understanding of the situation. My father hunts, my husband hunts, I eat meat, etc. And, I still think ranchers have a responsibility, when using public lands, to shepherd their livestock with the natural world in focus. I also feel like we all need to learn to navigate nature conscious of our impact, even in our own backyards. I am sure many will disagree with this perspective, that’s fine. I am a small business person and honestly the government and Defenders of Wildlife, don’t bail me out each time I lose, time, money or products. I don’t get subsidized grazing rights, and I can’t exterminate my competition. So, I don’t find myself feeling a lot of sympathy people who are working against an entire species. I think that this book, if you will let it, can give a perspective of how the needs of the environment are met by having wolves. That actually the deer and elk are healthier as a result of a healthier environment.There is a complexity of relationships and lives in wolf society that is powerful and similar to our own. It’s not only sweet and pretty, it can be vicious and painful. Yet, for a wild animal there can be no better death than the one they were born to have, wild and on their own terms. And, isn’t that the same for all of us?There are financial opportunities that abound, catering to visitors who come to photograph or just see wolves. We no longer have whale hunters in the US, I am sure they had to transition too. And, I believe there are ways of transitioning to sustainable jobs/careers, that do not require killing wolves. These jobs still allow people to be entrepreneurs, outside, hunting with cameras, and watching the grandeur of the bigger picture. This book was both insightful and at times tragic. I have wanted to go back to Yellowstone to watch the wolves in the Lamar Valley, I am sad that I will not see 0-six. I am also reminded of other books that look at these issues. Farley Mowat’s, Never Cry Wolf and Eva Saulitis, Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss Among the Vanishing Orcas, both come to mind. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it, if you are all interested in the complexities of this issue.
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  • Pat Hulsey
    January 1, 1970
    The American Wolf is a story of beauty and harshness, politics and the law, environmentalists and rancher/hunters and the wolf. By 1926 the West was devoid of all wolves and the ranchers and hunters were happy. But the wolf would not be denied his rightful place in the ecology of the West. By 1995 there was enough force to reintroduce the wolf to Yellowstone, a protected measure for the endangered species.The book shows how the reintroduction did much for the park in terms of improving the envir The American Wolf is a story of beauty and harshness, politics and the law, environmentalists and rancher/hunters and the wolf. By 1926 the West was devoid of all wolves and the ranchers and hunters were happy. But the wolf would not be denied his rightful place in the ecology of the West. By 1995 there was enough force to reintroduce the wolf to Yellowstone, a protected measure for the endangered species.The book shows how the reintroduction did much for the park in terms of improving the environment for all the animals. By culling the elk and moose the grasslands grew more grass as well as aspens and willows which helped to bring small rodents and the rabbits back. The small rodents encouraged the hawks and eagles to return for better bird watching and a richer ecology. In turn making for better elk and moose specimens for the hunters.The park is spread across three states Wyoming, Montana and Idaho making political chaos in setting reasonable hunting season and counts. The endangered species through another wrench in the mix since the animal was protected. But on the table was the agreement that should the animal leave the park and be guilty of taking cattle or other farm animals it could be shot. This lead to wolves being accused even if they were not the culprit. In addition ranchers could be compensated for losses to wolves but not other predators such as coyotes, which were the more likely villains. Leaving wolf management to the federal government resulted in no less difficulty in crafting good legislation then as now.Great effort was made to not try to create a icon among the wolves but 0-six was to formidable to not be recognized for her beauty, skill in hunting and raising her cubs in the midst of other packs of wolves. She embodied the qualities which marked what wolves are expected to have and by that virtue she became the most well known and beloved wolf in the park. Her life was one of constant awareness of dangers to her family and leading them safely through the Lamar Valley until the day she made a fateful mistake, She left the confines of the park. Her loss was devastating to those who year after year returned to watch here magnificence and this who recorded her life for scientific purposes.The book is one of the best told stories of the Yellowstone reintroduction project and its many successes It is extremely well documented. It provides the context for the wolves through politics, scientific research and observation in a readable story narrative.This is the only book I have ever read twice for the pure enjoyment of rereading the book. I strongly encourage anyone who has ever been to Yellowstone or loves wolves to read this book. Its a can't miss.
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  • Schuyler Wallace
    January 1, 1970
    No other wild animal has as much attention focused on it, as does the wolf. There are a myriad of stories, fables, commentaries, poetry, and studies that portray the wolf in many lights, some mysterious and deeply moving, some heart-rending and tender, and some in unmitigated hatred. Nate Blakeslee, in his exhaustive study of the “American Wolf,” has used extensive observation of the wolf packs in the Yellowstone area of Wyoming to form the basis of his descriptions of their lives and times.Two No other wild animal has as much attention focused on it, as does the wolf. There are a myriad of stories, fables, commentaries, poetry, and studies that portray the wolf in many lights, some mysterious and deeply moving, some heart-rending and tender, and some in unmitigated hatred. Nate Blakeslee, in his exhaustive study of the “American Wolf,” has used extensive observation of the wolf packs in the Yellowstone area of Wyoming to form the basis of his descriptions of their lives and times.Two National Park Service employees, Rick McIntyre and Laurie Lyman, have spent years watching the Yellowstone wolves and cataloging their lives. The pair’s meticulous notes, photographs, and learned observations of their behavior were heavily relied on by the author as the foundation for his book, augmented with interviews with wildlife officials, residents, ranchers, politicians, and legal authorities. Blakeslee has compiled a comprehensive visit into the environment of wolves including details about their life, disputes about their place in society, zealous advocacy and intense displeasure of their being, and their welcome appearance in the crosshairs of avid hunters.The legal battles impacting the role of wolves in the environment are stories in themselves. Lawsuits, hearings, rulings, and diverse activism may comprise the yardstick that measures their future. For every action that attempts to limit the wolf population there are counter moves to ensure that no harm comes to them. Each side is fervently convinced their reasoning is sound, and politics is the game that creates the slippery slope on which they survive.This book is extremely well written with the author using a balanced voice in presenting all sides of the debate, although his compassion for the animal is unapologetically obvious. At the same time, he presents the story of the wolf in its own beautiful and dangerous environment, complete with its instinctive family orientation. His scenic backgrounds fill the reader’s mind with the allure of the Western Rockies and his descriptions of the wolves’ apprehension and the sheer delight while freely roaming their territory are heartening and a joy to read.As a lifelong lover of the natural world, a frustrated naturalist with old legs, I heartily recommend this book as a near work of art, as close as one can get to truly enjoying our great outdoors and its creatures without actually going there.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the WestAmerican Wolf, by prize winning author Nate Blakeslee, is my choice for the best nonfiction book of 2017.It is an entirely factual recounting of the story of 0-Six, an Alpha female wolf named for the year of her birth. Born in Yellowstone Park, she and her mate led the Lamar Valley pack. She was a fierce protector. She was also a great hunter who was able to bring down an elk by herself to feed her family.This isn't just a bucolic American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the WestAmerican Wolf, by prize winning author Nate Blakeslee, is my choice for the best nonfiction book of 2017.It is an entirely factual recounting of the story of 0-Six, an Alpha female wolf named for the year of her birth. Born in Yellowstone Park, she and her mate led the Lamar Valley pack. She was a fierce protector. She was also a great hunter who was able to bring down an elk by herself to feed her family.This isn't just a bucolic story of wolves raising their litters and caring for each other, although the reader will learn an amazing amount about the compassionate and fascinating behavior of wolves. It is a story, with 0-Six at the epicenter, of politics, lawyers, the environment, ecology, hatred, fear, love, loss, and beauty. The descriptions of the packs in Yellowstone and what happens to them over the few short years when the government decides to allow hunters to once again hunt them (after the wolves had been protected) will anger you and leave you feeling helpless. That is not a reason to avoid this book however. American Wolf has some memorable people you will be introduced to, as remarkable as the wolves you will come to love.It is very interesting that these people do not interfere with the natural course of things as far as the wolves' cycle of life is concerned. Only once is one wolf air dropped some meat. He is dying because he was shot by a hunter and he is caught in a crevice he can't get out of. Three days later he is dead.You will learn as much about human behavior as you do about the wolves. We are not so very different.Notes, extensive interviews (even with the man who killed 0-Six) and videos were used to write this book. The author's descriptions of the wolves are amazing. He brought 0-Six and her family alive for me. If I didn't want to go see wolves in the wild before, I do now. I hope I get the chance.
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  • SouthernTodayGoneTomorrow
    January 1, 1970
    Written by Nate Blakrslee, this novel follows the wolves of Yellowstone and the lives that shaped them and whom they shaped. This IS a nonfiction work, and I greatly enjoyed it.I adore wolves. That is why I requested a review copy of this novel. Ever since the first time I watched Balto they have facinated me.This book looks at hunting these wolves and shows two perspectives (heavily leaning towards one over the other): the hunter and the protector.Written wonderfully, I think this book is a mus Written by Nate Blakrslee, this novel follows the wolves of Yellowstone and the lives that shaped them and whom they shaped. This IS a nonfiction work, and I greatly enjoyed it.I adore wolves. That is why I requested a review copy of this novel. Ever since the first time I watched Balto they have facinated me.This book looks at hunting these wolves and shows two perspectives (heavily leaning towards one over the other): the hunter and the protector.Written wonderfully, I think this book is a must read for any hunter, outdoor enthusiast, or anyone interested in wolves. This book was an easy read that kept my attention and read like a fiction novel, a good thing considering the average book reader today.I never knew so much about the Yellowstone wolf packs, for there are more than one, and all the changes they have faced through the years.I did, of course, know that there have been, and it believe there still are, wolf permits given out to hunt wolves.I love wolves. Have I already said that? That being said, I can understand why they need to be controlled. We control almost everything else left in nature, we are left controlling them as well.I don’t think it is possible to read this book and not, at the least, have a mental discussion about the topic.If you can, or are not interested, this book likely isn’t for you, just saying.I enjoyed this book, and overall recommend it.
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  • Chris LaTray
    January 1, 1970
    Nate Blakeslee not only tells a heartbreaking and compelling story of wolf O-Six and her family, but provides an excellent overview of the politics surrounding predators in and around the borders of our national parks. Blakeslee makes a good effort to share both sides fairly, but for me the conclusion is simple, particularly regarding the delisting of grizzly bears from the same ecosystem these wolves were, and that is this: state governments are incapable of a reasonable and good faith approach Nate Blakeslee not only tells a heartbreaking and compelling story of wolf O-Six and her family, but provides an excellent overview of the politics surrounding predators in and around the borders of our national parks. Blakeslee makes a good effort to share both sides fairly, but for me the conclusion is simple, particularly regarding the delisting of grizzly bears from the same ecosystem these wolves were, and that is this: state governments are incapable of a reasonable and good faith approach to managing apex predators. I am pro hunting, but American Wolf certainly shines a spotlight on a segment of the hunting community that makes it difficult for ethical, fair chase hunters to be seen in a positive light of understanding. This is a must read for anyone interested in wildlife politics in the West.
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  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book very much! I've never been to the areas covered in Mr. Blakeslees book, but feel as though I was now. Great writing, wonderful details and a facinating topic. These wolves are more intelligent than I ever imagined them to be. I was totally amazed by the tender interaction among them in their family groups and the savagery they can show other clans. Lots of smiles and lots of sadness. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit the park someday. Well written piece of literature and I hig I enjoyed this book very much! I've never been to the areas covered in Mr. Blakeslees book, but feel as though I was now. Great writing, wonderful details and a facinating topic. These wolves are more intelligent than I ever imagined them to be. I was totally amazed by the tender interaction among them in their family groups and the savagery they can show other clans. Lots of smiles and lots of sadness. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit the park someday. Well written piece of literature and I highly recommend it to all. Thanks Nate.
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  • Emily Nobles
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! As long time lover of wolves, I was excited to learn more about the recent events and policies surrounding Yellowstone and the wolf reintroduction program, and this book did not disappoint. It was smart without being incomprehensible, and novelistic without being overdramatic. O-Six and Rick are both engaging and constant presences throughout the book that guide the narrative along a smooth path. Definitely worth a read if you are a wolf or nature lover!
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    This book, with strong and noteworthy competition, won our coveted Title Wave top read. As I reel from finishing this epic and emotional true story I find myself, like other lovers of this journey, googling images and personal stories of those who have tracked O-six and her pack. Rick's 20 year devoted commitment to their legacy is as immersive as it is tear-jerking, bringing the deeply touching story full circle.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    The gripping and moving true tale of the Yellowstone wolves, told through the rise and fall of an alpha female and her pack. Parts of the narrative almost read like fiction. Blakeslee does an excellent job of presenting the politics and opinions surrounding the reintroduction program in an impartial manner, although I think the lesson to be learned here is that human interference can never truly replicate nor re-calibrate nature's delicate system of checks and balances once we've upset it.
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    Being a Wildlife Biology major, this book really spoke to me and made me long for my days in the woods studying the animals. This book really draws you in, and you develop a relationship with the wolves. This is a piece of work as important to the world as Aldo Leopold's Thinking Like a Mountain.
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  • Dick Whittington
    January 1, 1970
    This book chronicles the first years after the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park...the wolf packs and personalities...those who fought for and supported the action...those who fought it...the states and politics surrounding this decision...and the outcomes to date. It is an outstanding read. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the characters, the animals and the writing.
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  • Brian Wraight
    January 1, 1970
    American Wolf is one of the most thrilling, affecting books I've ever read. At the very least it will stand as the best nature book of 2017.
  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating look at the politics surrounding the re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. I'm personally a huge fan of wolves and loved reading the details of the wolves' interactions.
  • Nile
    January 1, 1970
    This is a remarkably beautiful yet poignant story...Researched and written very well...A story that continues to be in the news...and haveserious issues...Thanks!
  • KBev
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly never thought that I'd read a nonfiction book about wolves and enjoy it, but I did!
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