1. The grassland environment; 2. The genesis of the Nomads; 3. The Nomadic experiment; 4. The ascendancy of the market; 5. The wild and the tamed; 6. The return of the bison.
This study, first published in 2000, examines the cultural and ecological causes of the near-extinction of the bison.
Andrew C. Isenberg is Professor of History at Temple University. Isenberg's research interests include environmental history, the history of the North American West, the United States from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century, and the encounter between Euroamericans and natives. He is the author of Mining California: An Ecological History (2005) and the editor of The Nature of Cities: Culture, Landscape, and Urban Space (2006).
Isenberg (history, Princeton) employs interdisciplinary methodology to explain the ecosocial factors that led to the destruction of 30 million bison during a 50-year period. Tracing the movement of Native American tribes from sedentary cultures to hunting societies that depended upon the horse to hunt bison on the Great Plains, the author discusses the impact of Euroamerican economics on the Native peoples. Fur trading of the 18th century altered Plains culture, as did the 19th-century demand for bison hides. These encounters between Native Americans and Euroamericans were the central cause of the near extinction of the bison. Isenberg also considers other factors such as drought, disease, and the introduction of domestic livestock. This case study of extinction and the preservation of a species will have a wide appeal and correlate with such books as Shepard Krech's The Ecological Indian: Myth and History (LJ 8/99). Recommended for all libraries.--Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley Coll., Mt. Carmel, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'This case study of extinction and the preservation of a species will have a wide appeal.' Library Journal 'Andrew Isenberg's The Destruction of the Bison ... a fascinating tale not least that of the bison's last-minute preservation.' New Scientist 'To be filed in this month's don't-judge-a-book-by-its-title category ... [Isenberg's] impassioned first book is much more than an ecological history of American wildlife.' Publisher's Weekly