Book review: 'Coyote America' shares insights into the war on coyotes

Posted September 27

"COYOTE AMERICA: A Natural and Supernatural History," by Dan Flores, Basic Books, $27.50, 271 pages (nf)

“Coyote America” by Dan Flores is an engaging animal biography carefully crafted to invoke social awareness and bring praise to the history and modern existence of the American coyote. Thematically constructed around the idea that the coyote’s existence provides perspective to humanity, this book provides a unique insight into the age-old war of man vs. wild while inciting an almost emotionally protective response from the reader.

Without regard to social controversy, Flores uses a historically based timeline to argue that coyotes exemplify American exceptionalism and even goes so far as to humor the idea of the species earning its place in urban society due to its impact on cultural and historical development. This book abolishes the stigma of danger surrounding coyotes and, in fact, reinforces them as a staple of our country’s development, as demonstrated by Flores’ assertion that the howl of the coyote is the “original national anthem.”

“Coyote America” is a captivating animal biography, and while Flores does take a primarily fact-based approach, his storytelling is riddled with humor and tidbits of information that pique interest and make it impossible to put down, even if the book is outside of the reader's preferred genre.

From cover to cover, it’s a truly thrilling read, leaving readers with a better idea of the way urban development has impacted the world and a desire to protect the existence of animals that have, in more recent days, been labeled dangerous predators. Acting as both a knowledgeable guide and a public service announcement, this book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in animal welfare and environmentalism.

Despite strong opinions and, perhaps, a limited perspective, opts for a nondescript overview of the more animalistic actions of the coyote. The book doesn't contain any objectionable language, violence or sexual content.

Madelyn Conrad is a Weber State University graduate and a part time journalist and photographer. Contact her at: madelynnharrah@gmail.com


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all