Frontier Naturalist

  • by Russell M. Lawson
  • Narrated by Jack Chekijian
  • 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is a true story of discovery and discoverers in what was the northern frontier region of Mexico in the years before the Mexican War.
In 1826, when the story begins, the region was claimed by both Mexico and the United States. Neither country knew much about the lands crossed by such rivers as the Guadalupe, Brazos, Nueces, Trinity, and Rio Grande. Jean Louis Berlandier, a French naturalist, was part of a team sent out by the Mexican Boundary Commission to explore the area. His role was to collect specimens of flora and fauna and to record detailed observations of the landscapes and peoples through which the exploring party traveled.
His observations, including sketches and paintings of plants, landmarks, and American Indians, were the first compendium of scientific observations of the region to be collected and eventually published.
Here, historian Russell Lawson tells the story of this multinational expedition, using Berlandier's copious records as a way of conveying his view of the natural environment. Lawson's narrative allows us to peer over Berlandier's shoulder as he traveled and recorded his experiences. Berlandier and Lawson show us an America that no longer exists.
The book is published by University of New Mexico Press.


What the Critics Say

“A significant addition to the growing literature on the importance of scientific investigation on exploration of the American West.” (Clara Sue Kidwell, co-author of The Choctaws in Oklahoma)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Would you listen to Frontier Naturalist again? Why?

No, I received this book as a gift from the narrator, and while it was interesting, it's not a genre I normally read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, the book is about Berlandier, so him

What about Jack Chekijian’s performance did you like?

I like the way his voice modulates. He goes from conversational to lecturing easily.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?


Any additional comments?

This is an interesting story based in fact, using Berlandiers actual notes from his expeditions.

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- erobbins33 "I love audiobooks!!!"

an interesting look at our geography...

I received this audio book as a gift in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. This book is interesting enough for a non fiction. I have always been fascinated by the Old West times. This book discusses the rivers, settlers, Indians and the ways of the past. Through the explorations with Jean Louis Berlandier, we see what they saw back them. The author, Russell M Lawson did a fine job on this book and had his research cut out for him. The narrator, Jack Chekijian did a great job delivering this book to us flawlessly as only he can, His voice is smooth and easy on the ears. Nothing makes me more grateful for how our lives are today more than hearing of how people had to do things in the past.
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- Terri

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-08-2013
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks