By: Joshua Blu Buhs
216 pages, 18 b/w illus
Sometime in the first half of the twentieth century, a coterie of fire ants came ashore from South American ships docked in Mobile, Alabama. Fanning out across the region, the fire ants invaded the South, damaging crops, harassing game animals, and hindering harvesting methods. Responding to a collective call from southerners to eliminate these invasive pests, the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed a campaign that not only failed to eradicate the fire ants but left a wake of dead wildlife, sickened cattle, and public protest. Tracing the political and scientific eradication campaigns, Joshua Buhs's bracing study uses the saga as a means to consider twentieth-century American concepts of nature and environmental stewardship.
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