In a Land of Awe: Finding Reverence in the Search for Wild Horses

Broadleaf. Sept. 2022. 219p. ISBN 9781506482194. $28.99. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
Hanson (sociology and religion, Casper Coll.; This Human Shape) provides this well-reasoned, often poetic title, a paean to the wild horse in the United States. Based on the author’s extensive experiences, especially in the West, this book is often philosophical and engagingly aesthetic, yet supported by research and historical information. Widespread beliefs hold wild horses as unnatural residents of wild areas, competitors of native animals, and destructive to vegetation. Hanson convincingly refutes what he considers to be these myths. He argues that horses originated in the Americas and should once again be considered a native resident of natural areas. The author reveals that many reside in areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management, yet they are a small fraction compared to the unnatural livestock permitted in those places. Horses have a huge supportive following and have been the inspiration for naming sports teams and automobiles. This book should be well-received by such horse buffs. It is a compelling mix of personal anecdotes with references to classic and authoritative writings. The three useful, informative appendices list seven wild horse myths, 25 horse-interest organizations, and 113 references.
VERDICT Highly recommended for public libraries and lower-level undergraduate academic ones.
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