Textbook

Books Price Comparison (Including Amazon) - Guaranteed Lowest Prices on Books


 

American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree

 
 
 
 
American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree
Author: Susan Freinkel
ISBN 13: 9780520259942
ISBN 10: 520259947
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2009-04-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $34.95
 
 

"
In prose as strong and quietly beautiful as the American chestnut itself, Susan Freinkel profiles the silent catastrophe of a near-extinction and the impassioned struggle to bring a species back from the brink. Freinkel is a rare hybrid: equally fluid and in command as a science writer and a chronicler of historical events, and graced with the poise and skill to seamlessly graft these talents together. A perfect book."—Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Spook

"A spellbinding, heart wrenching, and uplifting account of the American chestnut that asks the vastly important question: Have we learned enough, and do we care enough, to begin healing some of the wounds we've inflicted on the natural world?"—Scott Weidensaul, author of Return to Wild America and Mountains of the Heart

"This is a beautifully written account of the passing of one of the botanical wonders of the North American landscape, the American chestnut tree, which was nearly extirpated by a plague that entered the ecosystem and swept these great trees away. Freinkel, a gifted writer whose research is impeccable and whose reporting is topnotch, tells of the impassioned work of scientists over the past century and up to today, trying to bring the American chestnut back from the brink of extinction. Only a person in love with trees could have written this lovely book."—Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone and The Wild Trees

"Graceful, provocative, and inspiring. Thoreau would be proud."—Alan Burdick, author of Out of Eden, a 2005 National Book Award finalist

"
In this beautifully written volume, Susan Freinkel ably describes the marriage of science and passion that is being brought to bear to save this majestic American tree from extinction. The people whose ancestors lived among chestnut trees and their places come alive for the reader, as does the appearance and spread of the blight and the heroes who are struggling with it today. The book concludes with a tantalizing vision of chestnuts in the forests again—a thought of making the world right where it has gone wrong."—Peter H. Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden

The Barnes & Noble Review

You could fill a library with paeans to the American elm, but far less has been written about the American chestnut, which dominated forests from Georgia to Maine until a virulent fungus brought it to near-extinction in the early 20th century. Few humans bore witness to the decimation of the chestnut: now this absorbing book gives the majestic tree its due, combining science, history, and environmental polemic to explain both the tree's demise and the surprisingly touching efforts of a devoted band of scientists to bring it back to life. The blight gained entry on chestnuts imported from Asia, wiping out billions of trees in a single generation. The disappearance of the chestnut was a blow to animals and people alike: its nuts sustained an abundance of wildlife, and its timber and bark formed the backbone of the Appalachian economy. Devotees of the tree employ various methods to battle the blight, including controversial bioengineering technology, with little success to date; still, they slog on. "I am continually moved by the patience and undying optimism of the chestnut scientists I've met," author Susan Freinkel writes. "In their own way, they are as resolute as the tree itself." --Barbara Spindel