Last Stand : George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West
In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, an American buffalo herd once numbering 30 million animals was reduced to twenty-three. It was the era of Manifest Destiny, a gilded age that viewed the West as nothing more than a treasure chest of resources to be dug up or shot down. Supporting hide hunters was the U.S. Army, which considered the eradication of the buffalo essential to victory in its ongoing war on Native Americans. Into that maelstrom rode young George Bird Grinnell. A scientist and a journalist, a hunter and a conservationist, Grinnell would lead the battle to save the buffalo from extinction. Fighting in the pages of magazines, in Washington's halls of power, and in the frozen valleys of Yellowstone, Grinnell and his allies sought to preserve an icon. Grinnell shared his adventures with some of the greatest and most infamous characters of the American West-from John James Audubon and Buffalo Bill to George Armstrong Custer and Theodore Roosevelt. Last Stand is a strikingly contemporary story: the saga of Grinnell and the buffalo was the first national battle over the environment. Grinnell's legacy includes the birth of the conservation movement as a potent political force.
- Paperback | 304 pages
- 152 x 229 x 15.24mm | 408.23g
- 01 Sep 2009
- University of Nebraska Press
- Lincoln, United States
- 41 images, 2 maps
Table of contents
Prologue - The StandOne - "Wild and Wooly"Two - "Self-Denial"Three - "Barbarism Pure and Simple"Four - "I Felled a Mighty Bison"Five - "The Guns of Other Hunters"Six - "That Will Mean an Indian War"Seven - "Ere Long Exterminated"Eight - "A Weekly Journal"Nine - "No Longer a Place for Them"Ten - "Blundering, Plundering"Eleven - "The Meanest Work I Ever Did"Twelve - "A Terror to Evil-Doers"Thirteen - "A Single Rock"Fourteen - "For All It Is Worth"Fifteen - "Simple Majesty"Epilogue - The Last Stand - "Something Unprecedented"AcknowledgmentsNotes Index
""By providing short accounts of these two complementary activities, Punke presents an interesting array of conflicts, western expansion, wildlife conservation, eastern politicians, railroad lobbyists, power of the press, and concerned citizen participation. . . . A well-documented history of Grinnell's environmental activities and the quick near-extermination of bison.""-Choice|"Michael Punke's meticulously researched Last Stand chronicles the transformation of the Great Plains from untouched wilderness in the mid-19th century to a land, less than 30 years later, where the future of wildlife hung in the balance."-Audubon (Editors' Choice)|"The heart of this book and its best part is the tale of how [Grinnell's] career was put to use saving the bison from extinction-a decision that could have gone the other way in an instant. `One person can make a difference, indeed all the difference,' Punke writes in closing. Through Grinnell, he makes a powerful case."-Kirkus Reviews
About Michael Punke
Michael Punke is a former lawyer whose professional experience includes work on the White House National Security Council and on Capitol Hill. He is the author of three books, including Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917 and The Revenant. He lives in Montana with his family.