Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul

Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul

In 1953, birding guru Roger Tory Peterson and noted British naturalist James Fisher set out on what became a legendary journey-a one hundred day trek over 30,000 miles around North America. They traveled from Newfoundland to Florida, deep into the heart of Mexico, through the Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, and into Alaska's Pribilof Islands. Two years later, Wild America, their classic account of the trip, was published.

On the eve of that book's fiftieth anniversary, naturalist Scott Weidensaul retraces Peterson and Fisher's steps to tell the story of wild America today. How has the continent's natural landscape changed over the past fifty years? How have the wildlife, the rivers, and the rugged, untouched terrain fared? The journey takes Weidensaul to the coastal communities of Newfoundland, where he examines the devastating impact of the Atlantic cod fishery's collapse on the ecosystem; to Florida, where he charts the virtual extinction of the great wading bird colonies that Peterson and Fisher once documented; to the Mexican tropics of Xilitla, which have become a growing center of ecotourism since Fisher and Peterson's exposition. And perhaps most surprising of all, Weidensaul finds that much of what Peterson and Fisher discovered remains untouched by the industrial developments of the last fifty years. Poised to become a classic in its own right, Return to Wild America is a sweeping survey of the natural soul of North America today.

Title:Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780865476882
Format Type:

    Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul Reviews

  • Megan Hart

    An excellent view of both the good and bad things that come with our natural areas. The author gives a realistic view to what we have done to the Earth, including ripping Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg a...

  • Jackie

    Scott Weidensaul follows the 1953 legendary journey of Roger Tory Peterson and British naturalist, James Fisher, of 100 days and 30,000 miles across North America. He highlights differences observed, ...

  • Cheryl

    “Between 1982 and 1997, developed land in the forty-eight contiguous states increased by 25 million acres- meaning a quarter of all the open land lost since European settlement disappeared in just t...

  • Mary Richmond

    Great book—but it’s pretty depressing......

  • Chris Leuchtenburg

    "There was life here still -- and with it, hope." (p.192) Maybe, but not much. Weidensaul uses a trip following Peterson's famous cross country birding trip 50 years earlier to catalog the devastation...

  • Nathan

    Scott Weidensaul has never been on a par, in my mind, with other writers of his ilk: not as garrulous as David Quammen or as urgent as Rachel Carson or as hard-edged as Gordon Grice. This book is more...

  • Julia

    Recounting his journey retracing the 1950s footsteps of a pair of birders/naturalists who traveled around North America in search of its wild lands, Weidensaul has penned a quiet but fervent paen and ...

  • Tim

    I am enjoying this book also. The previous book on Henrietta Lacks The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Covers some mid-century American history, and so does this book. Amazing are the amount of chang...

  • Melody

    Weidensaul retraces the original Wild America tour taken by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher. Ultimately hopeful, with some white-knuckle parts about global warming and the changes that have come ...

  • Miranda

    I enjoyed how he related what he saw to Wild America, so that you don't have to read that one as well, unless you want to. The writing was also well done and you could almost imagine yourself being th...