Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution
Chez Panisse over the years has risen from chaos to be perhaps the best restaurant in America. Less well known is its identity as a social organism--a family of people dedicated to excellence and integrity with an intensity of purpose that characterizes few other contemporary organizations. The stories of Alice Waters and the people of Chez Panisse constitute an intertwining, slowly strengthening movement for stewardship of land, waters, and wildlife; for responsible agriculture; for decency and fairness; and for having a lot of fun while doing a lot of good.
The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone
Henry Holt & Co., Inc., 1997
In the 1920s, agents of the United States government shot, poisoned, and trapped every wolf alive in Yellowstone, even torching the pups in their dens. In January of 1995, after a generation of struggle between the wolf's friends and foes, the wolf came home. This book chronciles the drama of the reintroduction, the political machinations behind it, and, with astonishing vividness, the adventures, the suffering, the love stories, the murders, and the triumphs of the wolves themselves.
The wolf's reoccupation of its throne as the top predator of the Yellowstone ecosystem has brought profound changes that are still spreading through the plants, animals, and landscape of the largest remaining block of wild land remaining in the temperate zones of the earth. It has brought change, too, to the contending cultures of the modern West and to the very meaning of conservation. In this book it is easy to see why the saga of the wolf's return has stirred the passions of a nation.
The Grizzly Bear
Alfred A. Knopf, 1984
With drawings by Gordon Allen
While it reads like a novel--following one mother bear and her cubs through a harrowing year in Yellowstone--"The Grizzly Bear" comprehensively explains virtually everything that is known about the species. Politics, land use, culture clashes, and other human struggles can seem to overshadow the reality of the bear. This book addresses those struggles eloquently, but its greatest strength is in the detail of observation and the depth of scientific understanding of a mysterious and fearsome animal.
"The Grizzly Bear" is lyrical, lucid, evocative, sometimes funny, and always stylishly written. There is, in this book, the smell of the bear. The reader feels its presence. Mr. McNamee has paid his dues in boot leather, and the fact that he has done his fieldwork within trembling distance of the great beasts, that he has lived through and evokes the seasons of a grizzly's life, is, finally, what makes this valuable book a classic.
--The New York Times Book Review
A Story of Deep Delight
Viking Penguin, 1990
In the early nineteenth century, one of the last of the once great Chickasaw Indians, a young man named Tchula Homa, struggles against time to save his people's ancient way of life from the corruption and decay that are consuming it.
At midcentury, Sylvester Woodson, a Candide-like slave in love with his master's octoroon mistress, comes to a fitful awareness of the raging Civil War and the world beyond Corelli plantation.
A century later, Wordlaw Corelli, a descendant of Sylvester's owner, and an artist haunted by a disintegrating marriage and the disintegrating landscape of his childhood, struggles for order in a world of chaos and contradiction.
"A Story of Deep Delight" sweeps through three eras of shattering change that have formed the American South, weaving imagination and history into an irresistably engrossing tapestry of heartbreak, triumph, love, and betrayal.
Nature First: Keeping Our Wild Places and Wild Creatures Wild
Roberts Rinehart, 1987
With illustrations by Susan Szeliga
From "Nature First":
I believe that the true object of conservation is nature. This may sound simple-mindedly obvious, but if you think about it hard it gets complicated fast....What seems to me essential in the conservationist idea of nature is wildness--wildness not just of individual organisms but of places, situations, processes, ecosystems.
Our current jury-rigged system of nature conservation, although it has served us well in the past, will not be sufficient to preserve our greatest wild ecosystems in the future. Much of the chaos in Yellowstone can be attributed to the hydra-headed ownership of the ecosystem and all the administrative contrariety that that entails. I am told that we cannot hope to change the present snarl of jurisdictions. But there is something else we can do.