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Publisher's Summary

Travelers and traders taking the Santa Fe Trail's routes from Missouri to New Mexico wrote vivid eyewitness accounts of the diverse and abundant wildlife encountered as they crossed arid plains, high desert, and rugged mountains. Most astonishing to these observers were the incredible numbers of animals, many they had not seen before - buffalo, antelope (pronghorn), prairie dogs, roadrunners, mustangs, grizzlies, and others. They also wrote about the domesticated animals they brought with them, including oxen, mules, horses, and dogs. Their letters, diaries, and memoirs open a window onto an animal world on the plains seen by few people other than the Plains Indians who had lived there for thousands of years. Phyllis S. Morgan has gleaned accounts from numerous primary sources and assembled them into a delightfully informative narrative. She has also explored the lives of the various species, and in this book tells about their behaviors and characteristics, the social relations within and between species, their relationships with humans, and their contributions to the environment and humankind.
©2015 University of Oklahoma Press (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

“Significant and finely crafted study of the animals and human-animal relationships on the historic Road to Santa Fe… It deserves a wide audience.” (Leo E. Oliva, author of Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail)
“Provides eyewitness accounts rich in colorful detail and fascinating anecdotes… a welcome addition to the literature on the historic trails of the Old West." (Deborah Lawrence, coauthor of Writing the Trails)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jan on 06-21-16

Just because they got in the way.....

A far better read than most "publish or perish" or doctoral theses. Apparently researched in depth using memoirs of eyewitnesses of the time, a clear picture of what we have destroyed and lost in the animal kingdom of the US is presented with clarity. Specific animals are targeted in this piece, and the "before" is well demonstrated with much for the reader to learn, and the how and why of the depopulation with or without the need of relocation of each is equally depicted.
This is an excellent study piece for the ecologically minded, whether as required reading or personal enrichment. I found it to be a page-turner for me, and I learned a great deal that I did not realize I wanted to know.
Sally Martin gives this lecture a remarkably pleasant experience in the audiobook format.
I received this book free from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Claudia Aita Costa on 08-19-17

interesting and well narrated

This book was a perfect companion to our road trip through the central prairie. We learned not only about the vastness of the native animals at the time of the Santa Fe trail, but also about the lives of those who witnessed this then prestine setting.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Much Read Photographer on 06-21-16

I will listen to this book again and again.

What did you like best about this story?

It provided a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Santa Fe Trail and the animal inhabitants.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was deeply touched by the suffering of the animals at the hands of mankind. I wish we had moved on from these days, but sadly humans don't seem to learn.

Any additional comments?

Being from the UK I had little knowledge of this area of the US and only a cursory knowledge of many of the animals mentioned. There is a wealth of information and I shall certainly be listening to the book again, and recommending it to others that have an interest in the wildlife of the US.

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."

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