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The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea

The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea

Scritto da Jack E. Davis

Narrato da Tom Perkins


The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea

Scritto da Jack E. Davis

Narrato da Tom Perkins

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (14 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
20 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 19, 2018
ISBN:
9781977375537
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Winner of the 2017 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction—the tragic collision between civilization and nature in the Gulf of Mexico becomes a uniquely American story in this environmental epic.

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 listeners 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's 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.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 19, 2018
ISBN:
9781977375537
Formato:
Audiolibro

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4.6
14 valutazioni / 6 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    A magnificent study on the history and abuse of the Gulf of Mexico. A tremendous amount of research went into this (both primary and secondary sources). We start with the Spanish conquistadors right down to the present time. There is over fishing, over hunting (birds mostly), massive pollution and many other issues. Though he is not specifically trying to make this point this is a powerful testimony to the damage mankind does to nature and if left alone these problems seem to correct themselves if people are not involved. It is all about human greed. A great book.
  • (4/5)
    The Gulf is that awkward kind of history, about a large body of water that in the worse form can amount to a collection of trivia and an authors travelogue. But Jack E. Davis (professor of History, U of FL) takes the task seriously and provides something more substantial and unforgettable. There are micro-histories about individual towns and islands, environmental histories of mango forests and fisheries, and biographies of artists and explorers. The Gulf itself is the main character stretching from South Texas to Key West it emerges in distinct form in beautiful prose. The story moves chronologically through time describing the abundance followed by the fall post World War II and the ongoing environmental calamity brought on by unimpeded growth. One only has to view Google Maps in places like Coral Gables to see what hath been wrought, once a lush mango forest teeming with life and now veneered with concrete, chemicals and canals. With that said, this is being called an "environmental book" but that is hard to avoid when writing about a geographic place, the environment is central to any place. It is more than an "environmental book", though that aspect does leave an impression this is a complete and whole work about the Gulf that anyone who has been there will be glad to have read to gain a better understanding of this amazing place.
  • (3/5)
    Interesting start but becoming tedious
  • (5/5)
    This was a fascinating account of the Gulf of Mexico. It blended early history of how it was formed, how it affected, Spanish, British, and French explorers, how so much of the coast came under United States control, and why this so important to America’s economic future.It of course also covers everything man has done to destroy it.The oil spillsChemical spillsMassive amounts of chemicals, fertilizers, and other industrial waste that is routinely dumped- either directly in it, or by rivers flowing into it. The author isn’t to preachy about how evil humans are and how it would great if we all went back to living the way we did 400 years ago, although he would probably advocate for it.The problem with environmentalists and other nature alarmists is that to get their point across, or get heard they tend to blow up or exaggerate or always go with the worst possible scenario of what will happen, or what has happened.This strategy is fine if what you are predicting is going to take place a hundred years or more from now, if the claim is in 5 years this is what will happen, but if the evidence doesn’t support what is said people don’t take the environmentalists seriously.After the Deepwater Horizon explosion every science expert in the world painted an apocalyptic future of the Gulf and then turned out to be somewhat, mostly or completely wrong, or had wildly overblown the outcome. Again this is why there is so much doubt when hearing from “the experts” about the environment, climate change, the oceans health etc.This is also not a Democrat or Republican is issue, and to make it such doesn’t help the situation. The Deepwater Horizon explosion took place when Obama was president and had filled the EPA with liberal doomsday sayers, and yet, the EPA was nearly as complicit in the disaster and the aftermath as BP.Back to the book, the author does an great job showing the oftentimes gradual destroying of the coast in every state on the Gulf, and explaining what and why it is important to the future and health of the Gulf.I highly recommend this book.
  • (5/5)
    Fascinating. Eye opening. Frightening. Heartbreaking. Haunting.
  • (2/5)
    A slog to get though. Author obsessively focuses on artists and writers. I say its roughly 60% at minimum about Gulf Coast creatives. Completely overlooks other neighboring nation's (Mexico & Cuba). Narrator has the cadence of a boring college professor giving the same lecture he's given a thousand times before.