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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

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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New Mexico Kicks On Route 66

Because it runs almost 2,500 miles across the United States, there's wisdom in traveling U.S. Route 66 in bites. Such a strategy not only makes it easier to fit into the typical one- or two-week vacation, but it allows you to take a slower pace to enjoy more of the landscape both directly alongside, and nearby, this iconic highway. If your focus is the Land of Enchantment, a good guide for such a trip is New Mexico Kicks On Route 66.
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The Kolob Tragedy: The Lost Tale Of A Canyoneering Calamity

As wondrous as the National Park System is, it holds wild and rugged settings that, frankly, can kill you if you're not prepared. That point is clearly driven home in The Kolob Tragedy: The Lost Tale Of A Canyoneering Calamity, which recounts the missteps of a fatal trip through the backcountry of Zion National Park in Utah.
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Where Water Is Gold: Life And Livelihood In Alaska's Bristol Bay

This is a wonderful look at life around Bristol Bay, Alaska. While the bay’s waters are known as the foremost source of sockeye salmon, the mountains surrounding the bay are also sources of great mineral wealth, and therein lies a conflict. Carl Johnson’s gorgeous, and human, photography does a fine job of showcasing a way of life that may be threatened by the Pebble Creek mine that long has been proposed to dig into the landscape.
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Death In Glacier National Park: Stories Of Accidents And Foolhardiness In The Crown Of The Continent

With visitation to the National Park System this centennial year at an all-time high, it’s no surprise I suppose that more and more people get in trouble, and some of those pay the ultimate price. Every year Glacier National Park in Montana lures hikers, anglers, employees, and climbers to the park’s high peaks, deep lakes, and raging rivers…and some to their own demise.
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100 Classic Hikes Utah: National Parks And Monuments, National Wilderness And Recreation Areas, State Parks, Uintas, Wasatch

Utah is one of the largest outdoor playgrounds in the world, with incredible canyon country, lofty mountains, deep forests, and high desert all waiting to be explored. So it's no surprise that Julie Trevelyan took all of this immense landscape into account when she set out to write a hiking guide to the Beehive State.
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Losing Eden: An Environmental History Of The American West

The Western landscape is in flux. Populations are swelling, sprawl is expanding population centers, water is becoming more precious as a result of drought and diversions, land-management philosophies and practices are generating political frictions. In her latest book, Sara Dant brings perspective to these changes by examining the factors that precipitated them.
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