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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Brenda Peterson, one of our best nature writers, brings the full complement of science, history, and memoir to the great battle being played out nationwide to save wild wolves.
ebook, 240 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Da Capo Press (first published September 20th 2016)
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Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
A really great introduction to this topic. I was wary at first about the fact that Peterson is a journalist/nature writer - I wasn't sure what kind of perspective that would entail. But what it ultimately means is that she provides a ton of different perspectives, including scientists, ranchers, wolf advocates, tribal leaders, park rangers, and average US citizens. And Wolf Nation is a useful resource as well for finding other books and documentaries about wolf conservation. Thoroughly enjoyed a ...more
Mrs. Europaea
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Peterson opens with a very honest and intriguing question: Why is there still such fury against an animal that has been hunted almost to extinction in this country?

The answer it turns out is not as simple as one would think, readers will learn that it is not only America's hunting culture that is to blame, but also governmental wildlife policies and an us-vs-them mentality.

Peterson provides a very comprehensive educational text discussing the history of wolves including: predator control, wild
Brian Griffith
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Peterson engages in the ongoing public relations war for wolf survival. She meets with ranchers in revolt against the U.S. government's modest wolf-reintroduction program, who sport bumper stickers declaring “Wolves are illegal immigrants,” or announcing that “wolves are terrorists on the order of Osama bin Laden.” She details the progress of environmental activists and Native communities in restoring wolves to the ecosystem, and examines developments in non-lethal methods for protecting livesto ...more
Lör K.
Free ARC provided by Netgalley and Perseus Books in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the ARC I read

Rating: 4 / 5

Publication Date: 02nd May 2017
Review Date: 29th April 2017

Wolves are terrorists on the order of Osama bin Laden

This was the first thing I saw when opening this book. I couldn’t stop laughing. This just in, folks, wolves are probably on call for ISIS now Osama bin Laden is dead.

I loved this! This was such a beautifully informative book about wolves
Diane Lynch
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves by Brenda Peterson Wolves are my favorite animal.  So, when I saw this book, I was instantly intrigued.  Brenda Peterson does a nice job with portraying the historic and scientific aspect of saving the wild American wolves.  I am knowledgeable about wolves, yet I learned a lot through this book.   It is well documented, researched, and supported.  WOLF NATION is skillfully written and an informative read.  I voluntarily reviewed an ...more
Jun 13, 2018 added it
Shelves: nonfiction
Frankly, I'm not comfortable giving a star-rating because I didn't finish it (about 100 pages in). It's not that it was bad, but I couldn't stomach all the graphic depictions of hunting-methods. I kept getting so angry I cried, so I suppose in that way the author did her job as a wolf advocate.

But to that end, I also felt a bit manipulated. The writing is clearly biased and is leading you towards a specific conclusion, and the anecdotal evidence I encountered before putting the book down was alw
C. J.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Since reading this book about the return of Wild American Wolves I have become absolutely engrossed with the stories of individual wolves and their families and the successful reintroduction of wolves to wildernesses, such as Yellowstone, for example, which is where they deserve to be since historically the wilderness belonged to the wolves before hunters, ranchers, members of the public etc. ever thought to lay claim to any of these wild places.
This book shows the struggle that wolf advocates h
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
An informative yet profoundly depressing read. The first part of the book focuses on the history of wolves, that is our history of hunting them. Ever inventive and unsurpassingly cruel, we have been so effective that many wolf populations have been completely wiped out. The book helpfully also tells the reader about the many other animals killed in their thousands every year alongside the wolf. I frequently had to have a break from reading, the litany of senseless death was too awful. If you man ...more
M. Sarki
A long and drawn-out treatise on the movement to protect and reestablish our country’s wild wolf population. A political and emotional plea to save one of our most important resources and in the process learn more about ourselves. A wolf’s loyalty to its pack and family, its willingness to sacrifice itself for the sake of the whole, and its love for play and recreation offers much to the ignorant population taught to be afraid and suspect of these animals. The control of public lands by big mone ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Wolves (wildlife period) are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand are the hunters of wolves for sport or recreation, who don’t give a hoot about wiping wildlife off the face of this earth. And on the other hand there are wildlife biologists who capture and place chips in wolves (other wildlife, too) before “rewilding” them and tracking their every move. So, if you’re fortunate to spot a lone wolf, think again, you’re not alone.

Informative, but a little too all over the place.

Andrea Bearman
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
For more review: Learning Bear Podcast on YouTube.
I have read about sea turtles, bees, plants, trees, coyotes, cranes, and more. Now, I tackle the beast of beasts, possibly an even sadder, more tortured story than the coyotes: The Gray Wolf.
I read Wolf Nation by Brenda Peterson. First, the title. The title is an homage of sorts to a Native American nation that in their native tongue, called themselves Wolf Nation. Wolves have a deep, rich history with the Native people; usually in the form of de
toria (vikz writes)
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wolf Nation
Brenda Peterson
The publisher kindly gave me this book in exchange for an honest review. This book begins with the author giving us a glimpse of her childhood, outlining how she was brought up in a rural family and taught to respect, love, and protect all of nature. That ideal shines through this work. It’s basically about how humans and animals, in this case Wolves, interact. It’s about our relationship with nature.

It explores the various mythologies, both; negative and positive, tha
Presence Bissonette
I really enjoyed this book. It would have been 5 stars but I thought occasionally it was too political, painting conservatives a little broadly. I appreciated that very occasionally we got a closer look at people who have another viewpoint of the author, but it still was extremely biased. I am also very hopeful that non-lethal methods will be adopted as success stories increase. I really hate that public money is spent in any culling of predators, we need to live together, there is a way. Native ...more
Maureen Caupp
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I was a teenager visiting Yellowstone I got to watch wolves through a spotting scope. The way they romped as they ran was captivating!

In Wolf Nation Brenda Peterson explores the relationship between people and wolves in the United States throughout our history to today. From our primal fear and hatred of wolves and the belief that they should be totally exterminated. Into the present day when controversial efforts are being made to restore wolves to some of their native habitat. Peterson lo
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Wildness needs wolves." That line really grabbed me, the idea of considering what wildness might require and how wolves not only fulfill that need but embody it. We have a long & deeply disturbing relationship with large predators, both in this country and as a species, period. This book does a good job of walking you through that while also going out of itself way to provide other perspectives, including ranchers & hunters. It makes for a solid companion read to Dan Flores' Coyote America thou ...more
Roberta Decenzo
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a well thought out book that really explains the issues facing wolf recovery in the United States today. Written in a clear and understandable way, the author not only talks about the issues facing Wolf recovery, but also their successes and offers anecdotal stories of some of the most famous wolves in the recovery efforts. The book is written from the point of view of its author and her journey studying wolves and interviewing individuals involved in recovery efforts over many years. O ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing story of the return of wolves and their survival after near extinction. I love wolves and while I'm not sure I want to encounter one outside of the zoo, I think they are amazing animals. They are intelligent and I am happy to see them being brought back. I've always thought it was wrong to blame them for killing cattle, sheep, livestock in general. Like all creatures on this planet, they serve a purpose and need to be protected. Great story! Very timely. ...more
Jeff Golden
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Solid overview for newbies to “the wolf wars,” but it’s very general and lacks the profound soul-moving punch of titles like American Wolf.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biology, environment
A great survey of the present state of affairs in restoring wolves to their natural habitat. Did not like the unsubstantiated claim that the Koch brothers supported the crazies who took control of the federal wildlife refuge. The Koch brothers are not responsible for every evil. I have not had a chance to check and see if the claim was supported in the footnotes. Think it a conflation of the Koch brothers support for libertarian groups. Libertarians believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of h ...more
Linda Brunner
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was preaching to the choir. I dearly love the wild things and knew that the welfare queen ranchers on public lands and the viscous and heartless (think trophy hunters, oil and gas companies and the greedy) were doing most of the damage. To wolves and to the habitats that are without them.

Bottom line though, this was a great expose on what we have going on with wolves in the here and now. That is, before the latest wolf death.

If you have any interest in this key species, voracious and
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Wolf Nation by Brenda Peterson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late April.

As a "narrative of restoration science," Peterson covers the history, myths (such as storybook themes of friend or foe), fact/fiction, accountability, respect towards the wolf by Native tribes and naturalists, the perspective of anti-wolf 'wolfers' as bounty hunters, famous/known wolves in Mexico, the Southwest, and Yellowstone, preservation, and coexistence.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The author blends history, science, politics and just enough stories about wolves make the book a compelling read. If you are looking for a book That is more scientific and research about wolves look elsewhere. If you are wanting a book on the struggles the wolves face as they are reintroduced junto the wild. Then this book is for you.. This book made me want fight for the wolf and also go to Yellowstone to see the wolves.
Carol Palmer
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, autographed
I have loved wolves since I was a child. Reading about wolves coming back to their original territory in the United States is thrilling, but the cruelty of humans towards this animals is so depressing. The re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone has shown what a positive influence this apex predator can have on an ecosystem. Humans need to learn how to live with wolves instead of just killing them.
Mortisha Cassavetes
An amazing and easy to read book about the American Wolf. I really enjoyed the informative story about the wolves life, their journeys, reintroduction in areas of the U.S. and how society perceived them. How different states laws lead to the life and death of the wolves and the societies out to protect them. I love books about nature and really loved this one. I highly recommend it. The author's love for wolves really makes this book very entertaining. ...more
Deb Stransky
I am an animal lover and I especially love wolves. This book was really good and I recommend it to animal lovers. It tells the story about repopulating areas that had wolves and were killed off(Yellowstone, Arizona, etc.). It even covered the fight between ranchers and the people who were relocating them. Very much a eye-opener.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good new book spotlighting the often troubled relationships between wolves and humans in this country, Wolf Nation also spends some time illuminating the impact of the wolf on ecosystems like Yellowstone and, in one of the most interesting chapters, the relationship between wolves and music. Well written, clear, well researched, and informative.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
The book was a bit ideologically driven for my tastes. I am in favor of wolf reintroduction. I do not feel I ned to buy into an anti capitalist narrative, or embrace climate change hysteria to favor introducing a keystone predator adept at preventing ungulates such as elk and deer from wrecking the forests.
Tuul Sukhbaatar
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I was excited to read the book. A lot of times people give me books about wolves because I love wolves so much. The book contains some good details and information about wolves in America. But, it was hard to digest certain parts of her political views. It seems like she tries too hard to convince readers that only democrats save wolves and republicans kill them.
Mary Jacobson
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderfully informative book for wolf lovers but also a wonderfully entertaining book for all readers. I knew nothing about wolves and found it difficult to put down! Beautifully written the well researched information is presented in a way that captivates. Read it.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a fantastic book. As a conservationist, and environmentalist, this book does the best thing a book about the effort can do...give a person hope for wolves. Informative, scientifically supported: this book is justice for an unjustly treated species.
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Brenda Peterson is the author of over 20 books, her first memoir Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals, chosen as a “Best Spiritual Book of 2001,” to three novels, one of which, Duck and Cover, was chosen by New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year. Her second memoir, a dark comedy of family and faith, is I Want To Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth; it was selected by The Christian ...more

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