Jon T. Coleman teaches history at the University of Notre Dame.
The many recent books written about wolves include several photographic essays depicting the wolf in its natural environment and studying the animal's habits and social characteristics. Coleman (history, Univ. of Notre Dame) takes a different approach in this volume, which began as his doctoral thesis. His study involves the history of wolves and humans in America, with a focus on the geographic area of Colonial New England. He chronicles the events, misunderstandings, and miscommunications that led early settlers to fear and destroy wolves before discussing America's shift in attitude. As a book about relationships, it includes references to the legends, folklore, and cultural differences that shaped the interaction between humans and wolves over three centuries. Coleman's witty and entertaining style will engage readers; it is well researched and documented, as one would expect in a scholarly work. Highly recommended for its literary quality and unique approach to academic and special collections. [For another cultural history about an American animal, see Mark Derr's A Dog's History of America, reviewed on p. 176.AEd.]ADeborah Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Coleman writes vividly... This rich study is less about the emergence of environmentalism than the persistence of history." Tristan Quinn, Times Literary Supplement "With lively prose and copious detail Coleman deftly weaves together the histories of settler and lupine societies... Provocative, scholarly, and readable." Karen R. Jones, Journal of American History "Thoughtfully conceived, insightful, and well written, Vicious is a wicked good read." Andrew Kirk, Montana: The Magazine of Western History"