America’s National Mammal Spotlighted in Dan Flores’s “American Serengeti”

9780700622276Learn more about America’s national mammal, the buffalo, inside Dan Flores’s “American Serengeti.” America’s Great Plains once possessed one of the grandest wildlife spectacles of the world, equaled only by such places as the Serengeti, the Masai Mara, or the veld of South Africa. Buffalo, pronghorn antelope, gray wolves, bison, coyotes, wild horses, and grizzly bears—less than two hundred years ago these creatures existed in such abundance that John James Audubon was moved to write, “it is impossible to describe or even conceive the vast multitudes of these animals.”

In a work that is at once a lyrical evocation of that lost splendor and a detailed natural history of these charismatic species of the historic Great Plains, veteran naturalist and outdoorsman Dan Flores draws a vivid portrait of each of these animals in their glory—and tells the harrowing story of what happened to them at the hands of market hunters and ranchers and ultimately a federal killing program in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Great Plains with its wildlife intact dazzled Americans and Europeans alike, prompting numerous literary tributes. “American Serengeti” takes its place alongside these celebratory works, showing us the grazers and predators of the plains against the vast opalescent distances, the blue mountains shimmering on the horizon, the great rippling tracts of yellowed grasslands. Far from the empty “flyover country” of recent times, this landscape is alive with a complex ecology at least 20,000 years old—a continental patrimony whose wonders may not be entirely lost, as recent efforts hold out hope of partial restoration of these historic species.

Written by an author who has done breakthrough work on the histories of several of these animals—including bison, wild horses, and coyotes—”American Serengeti” is as rigorous in its research as it is intimate in its sense of wonder—the most deeply informed, closely observed view we have of the Great Plains’ wild heritage.

Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Highlights UPK Author Donald A. Zinman

Donald Zinman, author of “The Heir Apparent Presidency,” offers this piece for The Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage.”  Zinman speaks on timely political issues including challenges Hillary Clinton faces as she races to win the presidential election.  As he writes, “If elected, Clinton, too, will most certainly have to correct something in Obama’s policy legacy, either because it’s malfunctioning or unpopular.”

The Presidency of George H. W. Bush Revised By Historian John Robert Greene

9780700620791In a recent Library Journal review of a biography of President George H. W. Bush the reviewer points readers  “seeking a more scholarly analysis” to “The Presidency of George H. W. Bush” by John Robert Greene.  Just released by the University Press of Kansas it offers a thorough reappraisal of the Bush presidency and ample attention to Bush’s post-presidency, including his relationship with his son, President George W. Bush, as well as the development of his close friendship with Bill Clinton. The elder Bush emerges from this reappraisal as a considerably more activist president, with a more activist administration, than was previously assumed. Greene’s concise and readable account drawing on the contents of the bush Library, the papers of James A. Baker III, and personal interviews, shows us the 41st president–and thus an important  chapter in American history–in a new and more revealing light.

Washington Post Highlights POTUS’s Post-Presidency with Burton I. Kaufman

9780700618613Burton I. Kaufman’s “The Post Presidency: From Washington to Clinton” receives highlighted mention by the Washington Post in relation to Barack Obama’s approaching post-presidency.  “‘The Obamas’ moves are part of the ongoing evolution of the lives of ex-presidents,’ said Burton Kaufman, author of The Post Presidency: From Washington to Clinton. . . . ‘In the old days, presidents died after they left office. . . . What presidents do now, is they make lots of money.’”