The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea

Awards:   Long-listed for ALA Carnegie Medal 2018 Nominated for Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction 2017 Short-listed for National Book Critics Circle Award 2017 Winner of Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction 2017 Winner of Pulitzer Prize 2018
Author:   Jack E. Davis (University of Florida)
Publisher:   WW Norton & Co
ISBN:  

9780871408662


Pages:   608
Publication Date:   14 March 2017
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea


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Awards

  • Long-listed for ALA Carnegie Medal 2018
  • Nominated for Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction 2017
  • Short-listed for National Book Critics Circle Award 2017
  • Winner of Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction 2017
  • Winner of Pulitzer Prize 2018

Overview

When painter Winslow Homer first sailed into the Gulf of Mexico, he was struck by its special kind of providence. Indeed, the Gulf presented itself as America's sea-bound by geography, culture, and tradition to the national experience-and yet, there has never been a comprehensive history of the Gulf until now. And so, in this rich and original work that explores the Gulf through our human connection with the sea, environmental historian Jack E. Davis finally places this exceptional region into the American mythos in a sweeping history that extends from the Pleistocene age to the twenty-first century. Significant beyond tragic oil spills and hurricanes, the Gulf has historically been one of the world's most bounteous marine environments, supporting human life for millennia. Davis starts from the premise that nature lies at the center of human existence, and takes readers on a compelling and, at times, wrenching journey from the Florida Keys to the Texas Rio Grande, along marshy shorelines and majestic estuarine bays, profoundly beautiful and life-giving, though fated to exploitation by esurient oil men and real-estate developers. Rich in vivid, previously untold stories, The Gulf tells the larger narrative of the American Sea-from the sportfish that brought the earliest tourists to Gulf shores to Hollywood's engagement with the first offshore oil wells-as it inspired and empowered, sometimes to its own detriment, the ethnically diverse groups of a growing nation. Davis' pageant of historical characters is vast, including: the presidents who directed western expansion toward its shores, the New England fishers who introduced their own distinct skills to the region, and the industries and big agriculture that sent their contamination downstream into the estuarine wonderland. Nor does Davis neglect the colorfully idiosyncratic individuals: the Tabasco king who devoted his life to wildlife conservation, the Texas shrimper who gave hers to clean water and public health, as well as the New York architect who hooked the big one that set the sportfishing world on fire. Ultimately, Davis reminds us that amidst the ruin, beauty awaits its return, as the Gulf is, and has always been, an ongoing story. Sensitive to the imminent effects of climate change, and to the difficult task of rectifying grievous assaults of recent centuries, The Gulf suggests how a penetrating examination of a single region's history can inform the country's path ahead.

Full Product Details

Author:   Jack E. Davis (University of Florida)
Publisher:   WW Norton & Co
Imprint:   Liveright Publishing Corporation
Dimensions:   Width: 16.80cm , Height: 4.30cm , Length: 24.10cm
Weight:   0.990kg
ISBN:  

9780871408662


ISBN 10:   087140866
Pages:   608
Publication Date:   14 March 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

Table of Contents

Reviews

Jack Davis has delivered a unique and illuminating history of the American Southern coast and sea as it should be written: how humanity and the environment evolved over ten millennia as a single system. -- Edward O. Wilson, author of The Social Conquest of Earth All the world was once as stunning and fertile as, say, present-day Alaska. But this vast and well-told story shows how we made the Gulf of Mexico, in particular, into what local activists have begun to call a 'national sacrifice zone,' at enormous cost to its residents of all species. It's a sobering tale, and one hopes that reading it will help us hit bottom and acknowledge the need to change. -- Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet A very good book, Jack E. Davis' The Gulf takes on troubling environmental issues with a lyrical voice and a steady appreciation of history. -- Mark Kurlansky, author of Paper: Paging Through History


Jack Davis has delivered a unique and illuminating history of the American Southern coast and sea as it should be written: how humanity and the environment evolved over ten millennia as a single system. -- Edward O. Wilson, author of The Social Conquest of Earth All the world was once as stunning and fertile as, say, present-day Alaska. But this vast and well-told story shows how we made the Gulf of Mexico, in particular, into what local activists have begun to call a 'national sacrifice zone,' at enormous cost to its residents of all species. It's a sobering tale, and one hopes that reading it will help us hit bottom and acknowledge the need to change. -- Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet A tremendous book. Jack Davis is not only one of our preeminent environmental historians, but also a first-rate storyteller and prose stylist. Lay readers and scholars alike will be delighted by The Gulf, a lovely evocation of the natural world and the problematic ways our nation has profited from it. -- Blake Bailey, author of Cheever: A Life A very good book, Jack E. Davis' The Gulf takes on troubling environmental issues with a lyrical voice and a steady appreciation of history. -- Mark Kurlansky, author of Paper: Paging Through History


Author Information

Jack E. Davis is the author of the award-winning An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century. A professor of environmental history at the University of Florida, he grew up on the Gulf coast, and now lives in Florida and New Hampshire.

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