- A Natural and Supernatural History
- Narrated by: Elijah Alexander
- Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 10-04-16
- Language: English
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Regular price: $24.47
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As soon as Americans - especially white Americans - began ranching and herding in the West, they began working to destroy the coyote. Despite campaigns of annihilation employing poisons, gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn't just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York's Central Park. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won hands down.
Coyote America is both an environmental and a deep natural history of the coyote. It traces both the five-million-year-long biological story of an animal that has become the "wolf" in our backyards and its cultural evolution from a preeminent spot in Native American religions to the hapless foil of the Road Runner. A deeply American tale, the story of the coyote in the American West and beyond is a sort of Manifest Destiny in reverse, with a pioneering hero whose career holds up an uncanny mirror to the successes and failures of American expansionism.
An illuminating biography of this extraordinary animal, Coyote America isn't just the story of an animal's survival - it is one of the great epics of our time.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John Townsend on 03-17-17
Very Enjoyable Book, Subject Matter, and Reader
I approve of this audiobook. I basically listened to it due to the fact that there isn't a mammal alive that I dislike to the degree that I dislike canis latrans (still bitter about the loss of my childhood pets thanks to them) and I wanted to know more about them and hopefully develop some empathy. This book did that. Flores is a gifted author and audiobook reader a damned fine reader.
83 of 86 people found this review helpful
By Rob Wolfe on 08-31-17
What made the experience of listening to Coyote America the most enjoyable?
Over the last few years I've stumbled into a deep interest in North American natural history (plants, animals, and indigenous peoples that preceded European arrival), and how modern humans have played into it.
Listening to this book was an easy choice after I heard the author (last name pronounced floor-ease) speak on a few podcasts, ReWild Yourself #93 and The Meateater #33. There are handfuls of hard, powerful - often horrifying - looks at Americans and the U.S. government interacting with coyotes. Many of these stories are shocking, yet they make for important and captivating storytelling; they are memorable anecdotes that enrich our understanding of the transition the natural world endured following European arrival.
What did you like best about this story?
I dug the author's bias toward natural history told from an eco-centric (vs. ego-centric) perspective. He doesn't tell the story from the vantage that says humans are the apotheosis of life on earth and thereby possess a warranted dominion over all things animate and inanimate. Rather he writes looking at coyotes as they truly are in a biological sense: a wild species part of the landscapes and ecoranges they evolved on. He contrasts the coyote's incredible biological resolve against the often bizarre, control-obsessed campaigns waged against it by modern humans.
Have you listened to any of Elijah Alexander’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
The reader's pronunciation of some words was interesting, but didn't take away from the overall story.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Coyote: North America's inexorable canid.
Any additional comments?
Much looking forward to the author's similar book, American Serengeti. If you don't have time to listen to Coyote America in its entirety it's worth checking out episode #33 of The Meateater Podcast. It clocks in around two hours and holds some of the best information on American natural history and the mammals and other animals that existed here prior to the Anthropocene era.
48 of 50 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Coyote Noir on 07-03-17
Absolutely loved this book. A fascinating insight into coyotes and our interactions with them throughout history. In addition, it was wonderfully narrated, I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in natural history, and human-carnivore/opportunist interactions.