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Book Talk, Jim Sterba, Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Image courtesy of The Crown Publishing Group. Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds


For four hundred years, explorers, traders, and settlers plundered North American wildlife and forests in an escalating rampage that culminated in the late-nineteenth –century “era of extermination.”   Many wild animal populations were isolated remnants or threatened with extinction, and people worried that our country was running out of trees. Then, in the twentieth century, an incredible turnaround took place.  Today, it is quite likely that more people live in close proximity to wild animals, birds, and trees in America than anywhere on the planet at any other time in history. Conservationists struggled to reverse wildlife devastation by outlawing commercial hunting, creating wildlife sanctuaries, transplanting isolated species to restored habitats, and imposing regulations on hunters and trappers. Over decades, they slowly nursed many wild populations back to health. But after World War II, something happened that that conservationists hadn’t foreseen: sprawl. By 2000, a majority of Americans lived neither in city nor country but in that in-between, resulting in a new mix of people, trees, and wildlife. It should have been a nature lover’s dream come true but had turned into a sprawl-dweller’s nightmare. Nature Wars shows readers what happens when too many people play Angry Birds instead of watching wild birds, and how our society has come to think of animals as anthropomorphized TV cartoons—how we have lost touch with nature. 

Jim Sterba has been a foreign correspondent and national affairs reporter for more than four decades for the New York Times and then the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of Frankie’s Place: A Love Story.

To Reserve: This event is open to the public. The fee is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Reservations are required but cannot be accepted until Tuesday, November 13, at 9:00 a.m. To register, please log onto your My Athenæum profile to make a secure online payment or call the Athenæum’s reservation line, (617) 720-7600. Reservations are non-refundable. 

Book Sales:  Jim Sterba will sign copies of his book at a reception following the lecture, books will be provided for sale by Zimmara.
If you wish to reserve or purchase a book or books in advance, please visit Zimmara or call 617-651-1627.


The Wall Street Journal Book Review

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