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American Wolf, which focuses on the life and adventures of the world-famous alpha female O-Six and her pack, is one of the most thrilling, affecting books I’ve ever read. O-Six and her family are besieged on all sides in and around Yellowstone National Park— by rival packs, by ranchers and hunters who would loving nothing more than to kill every wolf in America, and by state and federal politicians indifferent to the ecological importance of wolves. And yet O-Six, seemingly invincible, endures. Nate Blakeslee’s mythic story of an American legend is surely the best nature book of 2017.
November 2017 Indie Next List
“American Wolf uncovers the true legacy of the American wolf's survival after its reintroduction into the Rockies after nearly becoming extinct in the 1920s. The book focuses on renowned wolf O-Six, who's unlike any female wolf that Yellowstone park ranger Rick McIntyre has ever seen. Many of O-Six's survival challenges are directly linked to the larger issue between those against the reintroduction of wolves and those who see wolves as an integral part of our ecosystem. Nate Blakeslee's American Wolf is an essential read for anyone interested in a fascinating piece of American history and learning more about an important issue that continues to plague the West.”
— Stephanie Coleman, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE
The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her
Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.
With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.
But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park's stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.
These forces collide in American Wolf
, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West--between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country's most iconic landscapes.