Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals and People in America

Highbridge Audio. Oct. 2022. 16:33 hrs. ISBN 9781696609593. $29.99. NAT HIST
Flores (emeritus, Western history, Univ. of Montana; Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History) draws on many scientific and social disciplines to paint a devastating portrait of humans as precipitating agents of the current “sixth extinction.” Flores’s exploration ranges from when humans initially migrated into North America to the depressingly familiar materialism and human exceptionalism that has shaped, if not driven, most U.S. approaches to the natural world from the 1700s to today. The extraordinary success of humans as animals—classic bipedal carnivorous hunters—sets the stage for this ambitious exploration of the eons-long relationship between people and American wildlife. The result is a fascinating, if occasionally overly dense, narrative that drives home the perilous cost of erasing humankind’s animal identity or ignoring the complexity that is animal existence. Listeners are neither hampered nor aided by Clark Cornell’s narration, which is consistently serviceable but never compelling, a fact that leaves the content to do most of the convincing alone.
VERDICT An important, if dryly narrated, account of humans as accidental and purposeful animals of environmental extinction. Recommended for fans of environmental histories and scholars of the same.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing