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Reviews 151 unfounded western folklore about predators, and the glaring gaps in our scientific knowledge about them. Having grown up in the Southwest, and having worked a summer for the Audubon Society in the area just north of Real County, this reviewer can testify from experience that Schueler’s presentation of the people of West Texas and New Mexico is authentic, perceptive, and fair. From extended analysis of the issues of predator control and wildlife management, Schueler moves on to his own proposals for solutions. These recognize the complex mixture of biological problems, about which we still know far too little, and “human” problems — social, cultural, economic, political. So many factors are involved, so many cross currents of special and public interest flow through these questions, that they seem insoluble. They will be answered, however, if not by deliberate decision then by default. If considered answers are to be sought, Schueler’s book constitutes a signifi­ cant contribution to the effort. Anyone, rancher or preservationist, interested in what is happening to the West will find this book informative, interesting, and provocative of new ideas. PAUL T. BRYANT, Colorado State University Idle Weeds, The Life of a Sandstone Ridge. By David Rains Wallace. (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, a Yolla Bolly Press Book. 1980. 192 pages, $12.95.) This book is a naturalist’s account of occurrences in the plant and animal worlds over the space of a year on Chestnut Ridge, a sandstone outcropping in east central Ohio. David Rains Wallace, as the omnipresent narrator, tells the ridge’s story in a highly personalized and painstakingly detailed manner. Descriptions of the subtle, or occasionally violent, changes in weather that mark the pro­ gression of the seasons and tales of the daily efforts of plant and animal residents to survive and reproduce are woven into a chronology that pro­ vides the reader with ecological insights into a common and ordinary, and therefore extremely important, type of wilderness. The book is informative and often charming, but it is not without its faults. Wallace is an acute observer, a sensitive and knowledgeable naturalist; however, in his eagerness to convey the subtleties and nuances of Chestnut Ridge, he goes overboard with detail after detail of observation. To add character and interest to his plants and animals, Wallace personifies his subjects, being careful however not to overstep the bounds of his scientific knowledge. As a result, he is trapped between two literary worlds: science and fantasy. The fantasy descriptions of the animals’ and plants’ lives are not always engaging and the scientific descriptions are not always convincing. 152 Western American Literature I am intrigued by Wallace’s omnipotence in this book. As a life long player-in-the-woods and an amateur naturalist, I know how difficult it is to see all the comings and goings of the animals that Wallace writes about. I wish he would step into his pages on occasion and explain his interaction with the residents of Chestnut Ridge. My desire to learn more about Wallace extends to his philosophical character as well. His reflections on the interaction of human culture and wildness are brief, but poignant. A person who is as keen an observer and talented a writer as Wallace has much to teach us about nature. I hope that Wallace will be able to provide us with another book in the future where he combines his descriptive talent and his personal reflections to produce a work as charming, but more stimulating, than this book. SABINE KREMP, Smithfield, Utah Sacagawea of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Ella E. Clark and Margot Edmonds. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1979. 171 pages, $10.95.) Ella E. Clark is Professor Emeritus of English at Washington State Uni­ versity and a writer of previous works on Indian legends. Margot Edmonds is a writer and editor whose contributions to Sacagawea justify her listing as co-author. The first section of the book is a “standard” recital of the record of the 17-year-old Shoshone Indian woman’s activities as, with papoose on her back, she accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific and back in 1804-06. Drawn...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 151-152
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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