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NPT Reviews of Books and other Material

A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape

Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park And The Evolution Of An American Cultural Icon

While many consider Yellowstone National Park as iconic for its nature, 30 years’ experience of this “wonderlandscape” has led John Clayton to conclude that “Ultimately Yellowstone was [is] a cultural place.” How is this so? While not denying the significance of the natural wonders and beauty of the park, Clayton makes the case that over its 145-year history Yellowstone has achieved status greater than other national parks “by the accumulation of our experiences and values and social interactions – by our culture.”
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American Wolf: A True Story Of Survival And Obsession In The West

It has been more than two decades since the wolf recovery operation was launched in Yellowstone National Park, and interest in the predators has not ebbed at all. Park visitors continue to congregate in the predawn and pre-sunset hours in the Lamar Valley on the northern end of Yellowstone. Magazine features and books are still being written about the ongoing fate of the wolves.
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Legacy Of The Yosemite Mafia: The Ranger Image And Noble Cause Corruption In The National Park Service

Legacy of the Yosemite Mafia can be viewed as a prequel of sorts to Paul Berkowitz's earlier book about National Park Service malfeasance, and even to Robert Danno's own account of how he was pilloried by agency superiors after he charged that his superintendent ignored well-established federal laws and agency policies and procedures in showing deference to a billionaire.
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Underground Ranger: Adventures In Carlsbad Caverns National Park And Other Remarkable Places

In 1995, National Park Service Ranger Doug Thompson saw the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico and thought they were clouds. Little did he know, but for the next six years he would work under those clouds, and beneath those mountains at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. He was looking for a challenge after two decades as a ranger, and found one.
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The Rocky Mountain National Park Reader

This title will be a great addition to libraries of collectors of anthologies of stories and essays from around the National Park System. Through its nearly 280 pages James H. Pickering has masterfully assembled narratives crafted from those who homesteaded the land within today’s park, from naturalists such as Anne Zwinger, Stephen Trimble, SueEllen Campbell, and even from mountain climbers.
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Natural Wonders Of Assateague Island

The cover sold me. Whatever followed in the ensuing pages most likely would be riveting, and Mark Hendricks does not disappoint. As much as writers love to use words to create lasting images in readers' minds, Mr. Hendricks, a photographer, has captured the flora and fauna of Assateague Island National Seashore in a wonderful photo collection to be left visibly out for family and friends to enjoy.
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Yellowstone National Park: Through The Lens Of Time

Nearly 150 years later, Bradly J. Boner, a photojournalist based in Jackson Hole, spent four summers (2011-2014) retracing the steps of the 1871 Hayden Survey. He went on a personal “scavenger hunt” to find the exact location of every one of William Henry Jackson’s photographs based on the images themselves and descriptions published by members of the party, then “rephotographed” from each spot to show how the park had (or hadn’t) changed.
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National Parks Beyond The Nation: Global Perspectives On "America's Best Idea"

The national park movement has been evolving for more than a century, and it is by no means complete. The movement grows as governments, scientists, and society seek ways to cope with climate change, protect endangered species, manage landscapes, and to simply set aside more space for recreation and preservation.
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Three Days In The Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson At Front Royal And Winchester

More than 150 years after its conclusion, the Civil War continues to be dissected by authors who examine and re-examine the motives and strategies of the major players on both sides of the country-wrenching conflict. In Three Days In The Shenandoah, Gary Ecelbarger clears the fog of time to bring forward a more detailed analysis of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's 1862 crushing foray on Union forces at Front Royal and Winchester, Virginia.
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Mountain Man: John Colter, The Lewis & Clark Expedition, And The Call Of The American West

John Colter is one of the icons of the American West, at the leading edge of the mountain man era of exploration of the United States west of the Mississippi River. Some might even view him as the leader of the era, tackling the unknown West much as Daniel Boone had in the East decades earlier. Indeed, the two frontiersmen likely swapped stories of their adventures, as they lived closed to one another in their retiring years.
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National Park Roads: A Legacy In The American Landscape

In "National Park Roads: A Legacy In The American Landscape," Dr. Timothy Davis details the history of a relationship as fragile and monumental as Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road – full of ups and downs, twists and turns, challenges and beauty. It is a story that many of us take for granted; after all, a park’s road serves as a de facto tour guide for most visitors, and that’s due to intricate planning and inventive engineering by park leaders for over 100 years.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide