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The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Davis, Jack E.

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ISBN: 1631494023     ISBN-13: 9781631494024
Publisher: Liveright Pub Corp
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: March 2018

Annotation: Hailed as a “nonfiction epic . . . in the tradition of Jared Diamond’s best-seller Collapse, and Simon Winchester’s Atlantic” (Dallas Morning News), Jack E. Davis’s The Gulf is “by turns informative, lyrical, inspiring and chilling for anyone who cares about the future of ‘America’s Sea’ ” (Wall Street Journal). Illuminating America’s political and economic relationship with the environment from the age of the conquistadors to the present, Davis demonstrates how the Gulf’s fruitful ecosystems and exceptional beauty empowered a growing nation. Filled with vivid, untold stories from the sportfish that launched Gulfside vacationing to Hollywood’s role in the country’s first offshore oil wells, this “vast and welltold story shows how we made the Gulf . . . [into] a ‘national sacrifice zone’ ” (Bill McKibben). The first and only study of its kind, The Gulf offers “a unique and illuminating history of the American Southern coast and sea as it should be written” (Edward O. Wilson).
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Human ecology; Mexico, Gulf of.
Environmental degradation; Mexico, Gulf of.
Nature; Effect of human beings on; Mexico, Gulf of.
BISAC Categories:
- History | United States | State & Local
Dewey: 909/.096364
LCCN: bl2018117444
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 1.50" (1.00 lbs) 592 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 January #4)

In this comprehensive and thoroughly researched narrative, Davis, professor of history and sustainability at the University of Florida, positions the Gulf of Mexico as an integral part of American ecology, culture, and—with future good stewardship—economic success. He sprinkles geological and marine history throughout the chronicle of the coast's demographic changes from indigenous inhabitants to European colonizers, Louisiana Cajuns, Texas roughnecks, and Florida's tourists. Davis unflinchingly addresses the decades of oil spills, overfishing, and poor environmental practices that reduced resources. He also describes the decline of coastal marshes, which protect against hurricanes, and the erosion stemming from ill-conceived Army Corps of Engineer projects. Hurricanes Camille and Katrina and the catastrophic BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill poignantly receive their due. Davis also discusses inspired conservation efforts to combat the fashion industry's feather fascination and subsequent decimation of snowy egrets. The density of the fact-packed chapters calls for a deliberate reading pace so as not to overlook any of Davis's thought-provoking commentary and keen descriptions. Rather than advocate an impractical hands-off approach to dealing with the Gulf's myriad issues, Davis makes the convincing argument that wiser, far-sighted practices—including those aimed at combating climate change—could help the Gulf region to remain a bastion of resources for the foreseeable future. (Mar.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.
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