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Coyote America : A Natural and Supernatural History
by Dan Flores


Overview - With its uncanny night howls, unrivaled ingenuity, and amazing resilience, the coyote is the stuff of legends. In Indian folktales it often appears as a deceptive trickster or a sly genius. But legends don t come close to capturing the incredible survival story of the coyote.  Read more...

 
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More About Coyote America by Dan Flores
 
 
 
Overview
With its uncanny night howls, unrivaled ingenuity, and amazing resilience, the coyote is the stuff of legends. In Indian folktales it often appears as a deceptive trickster or a sly genius. But legends don t come close to capturing the incredible survival story of the coyote. As soon as Americansespecially white Americansbegan ranching and herding in the West, they began working to destroy the coyote. Despite campaigns of annihilation employing poisons, gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn t just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York s Central Park. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won hands-down.
"Coyote America" is both an environmental and a deep natural history of the coyote. It traces both the five-million-year-long biological story of an animal that has become the wolf in our backyards, as well as its cultural evolution from a preeminent spot in Native American religions to the hapless foil of the Road Runner. A deeply American tale, the story of the coyote in the American West and beyond is a sort of Manifest Destiny in reverse, with a pioneering hero whose career holds up an uncanny mirror to the successes and failures of American expansionism.
An illuminating biography of this extraordinary animal, "Coyote America" isn t just the story of an animal s survivalit is one of the great epics of our time.
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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780465052998
  • ISBN-10: 0465052991
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 288


Related Categories

Books > Nature > Animals - Mammals
Books > Science > Natural History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-04-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

Flores (American Serengeti), emeritus professor of Western history at the University of Montana, looks at the coyote and its history on the North American continent in this educational volume. Having lived for a decade in the piñon-juniper mesas south of Santa Fe, N.Mex., “the evolutionary heartland of America’s native canines,” Flores considers the coyote’s howl “the original national anthem of North America”—one that dates back “nearly 1 million years.” He traces the animal’s roots, giving lessons on both physiology and mythology. “As a literary character,” Flores notes, the coyote is a “complex figure full of nuances of all sorts” as well as a “trickster who is forever falling for the oldest trick in the book.” Flores also presents accounts of coyotes in urban environments and their depictions in pop culture. For example, in Chicago during the 2007 heat wave, a coyote walked into a sandwich shop and jumped onto a freezer to cool down, to the surprise and amusement of employees and customers. Similarly, considerations of fictional characters such as Wile E. Coyote, introduced by Warner Bros. in 1949, provide entertaining counterpoints to the coyote’s status as “North America’s oldest surviving deity.” Flores’s mix of edification and entertainment is a welcome antidote to a creature so often viewed with fear. Illus. Agent: Melissa Chinchillo, Fletcher & Co. (June)

 
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