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From Jack London to Aldo Leopold's "fierce green fire," wolves have been a central part of the American image. Many have even suggested that our national symbol, the bald eagle, be replaced with this noble creature who, like us, raises a family and is bold and loyal in protecting the pack.
Brenda Peterson blends science, history, and memoir to dramatise the epic battle to restore wolves and thus the landscape and ecology of the continent. From the vicious exterminations carried out by pioneers and settlers; to the internationally celebrated triumph of the return of wolves to Yellowstone; to backlash, politics, and near-daily news of successful reintroductions, this is perhaps the most inspiring conservation story of our time. Brenda's central characters are two famous wolves: the powerful and prolific female "067," restored to Yellowstone only to be "legally" murdered, and Journey, a near-miraculous transcontinental survivor. Along with these are the scientists, ranchers, and activists who are fighting against fear, politics, greed, and scientific ignorance to bring wild wolves home to keep our environment whole.
Brenda Peterson is the author of several novels including Duck and Cover, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle.
"A gem. Brenda Peterson reveals the complex, social, emotional, and moral lives of wolves, their strong family bonds, and their interminable struggle to return to their native wild lands, against all odds. Her stories of individual animals, including OR7 and Yellowstone's most famous wolf, the matriarch 067, show wolves as real characters, with tragedies, a passion for play, family trees, and new generations that give hope for wolf recovery in America. You will never look at wolves in the same way after reading this outstanding and compassionate book."
– Marc Bekoff, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals and The Animal's Agenda
"Brenda Peterson grounds her book about the conservation and ecology of wild wolves in meticulous environmental history and rigorous science and then lifts her voice in a gorgeous, powerful paean to this iconic species, essential if we are to restore whole ecosystems and human hearts. She has the courage to tell stories that need telling, and the literary brilliance to captivate readers, from the first to the last spellbinding chapter."
– Christina Eisenberg, The Wolf's Tooth
"Wolf Nation is the most original writing on these iconic canids I've read in decades. Brenda Peterson's seamless weave of science and story never fails to surprise and delight. Her chapter "Wolf Music" is particularly breathtaking; it will transform your thinking about both music and wolves. Read this gorgeous, mind-blowing book and prepare to become an ardent advocate for co-existence with animals who turn out to be more like us than most people would have dared imagine."
– Sy Montgomery, Soul of an Octopus
"The most hated, most loved animals on the continent, wolves have been revered by Native Americans but reviled by settlers and ranchers. Wolves are just wolves to wolves, but we cannot decide who wolves are to us. This, their wonderfully crafted story, may help us decide."
– Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
"Brenda Peterson's passion for America's wolves howls from the pages of this splendid book – a thorough telling of the canines' history, ecology, and fight for survival."
– Jennifer Holland, author of bestselling Unlikely Friendships series