Vicious: Wolves and Men in America / Edition 1

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In this history of wolves in America - and of the humans who have hated and then loved them - Jon Coleman investigates a relationship between two species and uncovers striking similarities, deadly differences, and, all to frequently, tragic misunderstanding.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The many recent books written about wolves include several photographic essays depicting the wolf in its natural environment and studying the animal's habits and social characteristics. Coleman (history, Univ. of Notre Dame) takes a different approach in this volume, which began as his doctoral thesis. His study involves the history of wolves and humans in America, with a focus on the geographic area of Colonial New England. He chronicles the events, misunderstandings, and miscommunications that led early settlers to fear and destroy wolves before discussing America's shift in attitude. As a book about relationships, it includes references to the legends, folklore, and cultural differences that shaped the interaction between humans and wolves over three centuries. Coleman's witty and entertaining style will engage readers; it is well researched and documented, as one would expect in a scholarly work. Highly recommended for its literary quality and unique approach to academic and special collections. [For another cultural history about an American animal, see Mark Derr's A Dog's History of America, reviewed on p. 176.--Ed.]--Deborah Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"This is a bold, smart, and original book, written with verve and imagination. Far more than a history of wolves in America, it is a meditation on the meanings of time, history, and culture, and an inquiry into the nature of cruelty and hatred."—Andrew Cayton, Distinguished Professor of History, Miami University

"A fascinating book which draws on historical, biological and cultural insights in a penetrating analysis of how Americans have interacted with a major predator. Coleman's approach allows us to understand fully why we eliminated wolves from the United States, and why recent debates over wolf reintroduction have been so heated."—Robert Keiter, author of Keeping Faith with Nature and The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (also Wallace Stegner Professor of Law and director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the University of Utah)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300119725
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2006
  • Series: The Lamar Series in Western History
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 973,925
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon T. Coleman teaches history at the University of Notre Dame.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Southern New England
1 Howls, snarls, and musket shots : saying "this is mine" in colonial New England 19
2 Beasts of lore : how stories turned fearsome monsters into skulking criminals 37
3 Wolf bullets with adders' tongues : how to kill a wolf in colonial New England 52
Pt. 2 The Northeastern woodlands
4 Predator to prey : wolves' journey through the Northeastern woodlands 69
5 Surrounded : fear and retribution in the Northeastern forests 102
6 Metaphors of slaughter : two wolf hunts 123
Pt. 3 The American West
7 A wealth of canines : Mormon Americans on the Great Plains 147
8 Call it a coyote : how to exterminate wolves in colonial Utah 173
Pt. 4 The federal government
9 Annihilation and enlightenment : the cultural extinction of North American wolves 191
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