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Stronghold: One Man's Quest to Save the World's Wild Salmon

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  31 reviews
“A powerful and inspiring story. Guido Rahr’s mission to save the wild Pacific salmon leads him into adventures that make for a breathtakingly exciting read.”—Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia

In the tradition of Mountains Beyond Mountains and The Orchid Thief, Stronghold is Tucker Malarkey’s gripping chronicle of an unlikely visionary and his crusade to protect the
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Spiegel & Grau
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4.46  · 
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 ·  78 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Sharn (Caffeine & Commas)
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stronghold deliverers the importance of our planet, conservation and sustainability in a nice neat adventure filled package!

Stronghold chronicles the life and triumphs of Guido Rahr, one of the incredible minds at the forefront of global conservation and sustainability. Tucker perfectly captures Guido as a child with a unique connection to the natural world and subsequently his struggles through academia, eventually emerging as the celebrated naturalist he is today.
However, it is easy to see
Michele Benchouk
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an eye-opener on the crisis regarding salmon health around the globe. There were so many points that I never knew about: how different salmon varieties prefer different parts of a river for spawning and how their bodies are built to return to that specific area; how we can learn so much about a salmon's lifecycle by analyzing its otolith -- basically, the fish's tree rings; like how the fish interact with trees and how climate change is hurting the species; how Atlantic salmon are g ...more
Kelsey Hennegen
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-non-fiction
Yes, this is a non-fiction book about salmon, but it is also an extraordinary story, told with rich language and a fluid, playful cadence. There's this balance between the concrete and explicit (bio-diversity, evolution, keystone species, geo-political history, etc.) with the deeply personal, with lyrical, poetic musings. It is all together enrapturing. Sometimes my experience reading non-fiction is that suggests the writer prioritized the content, and may well be an expert on said content, but ...more
sarah  morgan
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley-arcs
Thank you, Net Galley and Spiegel & Grau for the chance to read this astonishing book. I chose it initially because of the title. As a native Oregonian, I thought it would interest me because salmon is our heritage. Not far into the book, I realized I knew half the people at the center of this story, which made it even more interesting. Then I fell under the spell of Malarkey’s amazing talent in telling a gripping adventure story while informing readers of the plight of salmon worldwide, how ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

A fascinating look at the world's declining salmon population and the ecological concerns happening around the world. The future is grim if changes are not made soon. I definitely recommend this book to everyone!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The views given are my own
Schuyler Wallace
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

As a lifelong hard-core fisherman, I have despaired at humanity’s handling of the salmon’s existence. Totally a slave to its own stubborn fight for life, the salmon’s numbers have greatly diminished in recent years by the incompetence displayed by supposed experts and organizations charged with saving the vanishing fish. These inept schemes to protect and replenish their numbers have only one thing in common; their failures.

Tucker Malarkey tells us about a man, Guido Rahr, whose makeup may hav
Csimplot Simplot
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!!!
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stronghold is an extraordinary read. It has a wild streak for hunters yet it's approachable for those who aren't fans. Romanticism for the wild is both embraced and restrained, a curious balance that occurs against unfamiliarity. A fascinating glimpse of a life that may be far away from yours is all rendered in trips to remote parts of American and Russian rivers.

Who knew fly fishing could open so many doors? Guido knows a surprising amount of people, famous and influential people even. Harriso
Nathan Schmidt
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance copy through Goodreads First Reads, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

This is a moving book that connects with you on an emotional level - after all, as Guido learned, to get people to really listen to you, you have to draw them into your story and make them feel the experience and wonder. I felt a sense of empathy for Guido, since I've had trouble socializing myself, and the vivid outdoor landscapes, along with the encroaching destruction, were amazing. I learned a lot
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, ecolit
I don't know whether this book is being mis-marketed or if I just made it up in my head that it would be as informative as Paul Greenburg's Four Fish, but Stronghold was too much a biography about one man I didn't care about (the author's cousin, Guido Rahr), and too little about salmon.

Guido Rahr has the kind of personality we often find compelling—an essentially selfish, self-isolated white man with an obsessive interest that must take precedence over everything else, including loving his chil
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read! What a thrilling book about the wonders of nature and the adventures of a passionate conservationist. This is recent history and an inspiring tale. The details are clearly laid out, from the very naming of fish (a cherry salmon, steelhead) to the habitats that anadromous creatures use (marine and terrestrial) to working with the rich and famous to fund fish protection.

The book tells fascinating stories about fish and people. The results of careful study reveal the secrets o
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance copy of this book from a giveaway from Random House Publishing. Expecting some sort of environmental exposé, filled with harrowing statistics and quantitative research on just how devastatingly humans have deteriorated the earth, its atmosphere, and its ecosystems, I was unprepared (albeit pleasantly surprised) to be thrust into this cadent narrative of tireless conservation efforts. Guido Rahr’s mission to remediate salmon habitats such as Russia’s Kamchatka River is an un ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I chose this book on the strength of the publishers blurb, that it is in the vein of The Orchid Thief which I loved, and it’s about saving Salmon, from Oregon and beyond, and I live in Oregon. I didn’t know that Guido Rahr and the author are cousins or that they were children together in Deschutes county where I live, or that Guido was the first reptile interpreter at the High Desert Museum where I am a living history interpreter. I don’t fly fish, I don’t fish, but once I started reading this b ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible book! “Stronghold" follows the author's cousin, Guido Rarh, in his quest to save the world’s at-risk wild salmon. Guido, while in his youth a bit of a misfit, was a gifted student of both human and animal nature. This gift was not simply magic, however, but was built on his infinite study of structures and systems. And while at first, he was only in his element in nature he soon realized to protect the fragile eco-systems he cherished he would have to learn to navigate systems ...more
Susan Burlew
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
I thought this book was amazing!!! Before reading it I knew salmon was tasty and good for you. I knew nothing about sustainability. It was just something tree huggers talked about. The author has a way with words. I learned quite a bit but it was not dry or boring. Guido Rahr is one in a million! From a very young age he was interested in reptiles. He could spend days watching and learning and understanding nature without getting bored. As he grew up he became fascinated with fish,especially sal ...more
Amanda Harrenga
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was initially intrigued by this book because of my personal connections to nature and love of fishing. This books tells the story of a man, Guido Rahr, and his lifelong compassion and determination to protecting nature, specifically salmon. He creates a "stronghold" initiative and does incredible things with it. I expected this book to read more scientifically but it was told in an easy to follow narrative prose. The science was weaved in so that the story made sense. I really enjoyed this boo ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.
Stronghold is a fascinating book about Guido (Gee-do) Rahr and his passion for salmon, fly-fishing for them, and in particular- SAVING them. I am not what one would call a "fish person". I don't fish or even eat much fish, however I am passionate about the conservation of our natural lands and resources and this book really opened my eyes to the fact that salmon are a keystone species throughout the Pacific Rim, as they once were in the North Atlantic until development, pollution, and
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free Advance Reader's Edition of this book via the Goodreads Giveaways program and would like to express my gratitude to any involved in making that possible.

This book tells the incredible true story of the life and life's work of Guido Rahr. Rahr followed an unconventional life path to become one of the greatest protectors of wild salmon and their river ecosystems and reading his story was inspiring and emotional for me. I learned a lot about salmon as a keystone species, the ecosy
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A biography of the author's cousin, Guido Rahr, emphasizing his work with the Wild Salmon Center and his "salmon stronghold" conservation strategy. Rahr is a unique individual and the story of how developed his conservation credentials and got to be the Executive Director of the Wild Salmon Center was interesting. The authors descriptions of the environments and animal life was beautiful and the personalities involved was fascinating. The development of the efforts to establish a stronghold appr ...more
Lisa Cobb Sabatini
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won an Advance Reader's Edition of Stronghold: One Man's Quest to Save the World's Wild Salmon by Tucker Malarkey from Goodreads.

A must-read for naturalists and environmentalists, Stronghold: One Man's Quest to Save the World's Wild Salmon by Tucker Malarkey is a delightful read for everyone. Stronghold is more than the story of one man's incredible life, it is also a chronicle about the magnificent salmon and its critical role in not only its own ecosystems, but also in sustaining life on Ear
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love how intimate this portrait is of someone with such an undeniable passion. It's inspiring to follow Guido's passion and how his focus has brought such focus on his work to save salmon habitat, but also how he took an early love of the outdoors into his life. And no other author could have told this story in the way that Tucker Malarkey does, given how poetic her writing is, but also her perspective on the subject and issue and events. She has a unique vantage point and that really drew me in ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This turned out to be an even better book than I expected. I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I thought it might be too dry and scientific, but the author, who happens to be the cousin of the man trying to save the salmon, writes the story in a way that makes you feel like you're right there as it's all happening. Very interesting subject matter and very well written.
Janet Clark
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Long, complicated, beautifully written education about the plight of wild salmon. I enjoyed every river trip--even those in the gorgeous but freezing bear infested Kamchatka. If you enjoy eating fish and think they are even only minimally important to the planet--read this book. Fascinating. Remarkable. Inspiring.
Dick Whittington
Fascinating story of Guido Rahr, the Wild Salmon Society, the gigantic barriers facing both and their amazing accomplishments battling and eventually busting those barriers. Good writing/reporting, character development and pacing. Learned a lot in this reading and will likely read again. Highly recommend.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars. Awesome!
Wow. This book is really fantastic it seems. I didn't even realize about how salmon were in danger. If it's an animal story, GIVE IT TO ME.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book!
Glenn Stenquist
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who enjoys nature, the environment, what is good will love this book
Susan Walker
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book about a mans quest to save the Salmon. This is not just a book about fish. It covers so many topics such as ecology.
Faith 09
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting read for sure.
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Tucker Malarkey was raised in San Francisco. She attended Georgetown University and was then hired by the Washington Post where she spent the next four years working on the Foreign Desk and then with columnist Haynes Johnson on the book, SLEEPWALKING THROUGH HISTORY, a best-selling account of the Reagan years. Before accepting a magazine job in New York, she decided to go to Africa for three month ...more