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NPT Reviews of Books and other Material

A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape

Underground Ranger: Adventures In Carlsbad Caverns National Park And Other Remarkable Places

In 1995, National Park Service Ranger Doug Thompson saw the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico and thought they were clouds. Little did he know, but for the next six years he would work under those clouds, and beneath those mountains at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. He was looking for a challenge after two decades as a ranger, and found one.
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The Rocky Mountain National Park Reader

This title will be a great addition to libraries of collectors of anthologies of stories and essays from around the National Park System. Through its nearly 280 pages James H. Pickering has masterfully assembled narratives crafted from those who homesteaded the land within today’s park, from naturalists such as Anne Zwinger, Stephen Trimble, SueEllen Campbell, and even from mountain climbers.
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Natural Wonders Of Assateague Island

The cover sold me. Whatever followed in the ensuing pages most likely would be riveting, and Mark Hendricks does not disappoint. As much as writers love to use words to create lasting images in readers' minds, Mr. Hendricks, a photographer, has captured the flora and fauna of Assateague Island National Seashore in a wonderful photo collection to be left visibly out for family and friends to enjoy.
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Yellowstone National Park: Through The Lens Of Time

Nearly 150 years later, Bradly J. Boner, a photojournalist based in Jackson Hole, spent four summers (2011-2014) retracing the steps of the 1871 Hayden Survey. He went on a personal “scavenger hunt” to find the exact location of every one of William Henry Jackson’s photographs based on the images themselves and descriptions published by members of the party, then “rephotographed” from each spot to show how the park had (or hadn’t) changed.
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National Parks Beyond The Nation: Global Perspectives On "America's Best Idea"

The national park movement has been evolving for more than a century, and it is by no means complete. The movement grows as governments, scientists, and society seek ways to cope with climate change, protect endangered species, manage landscapes, and to simply set aside more space for recreation and preservation.
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Three Days In The Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson At Front Royal And Winchester

More than 150 years after its conclusion, the Civil War continues to be dissected by authors who examine and re-examine the motives and strategies of the major players on both sides of the country-wrenching conflict. In Three Days In The Shenandoah, Gary Ecelbarger clears the fog of time to bring forward a more detailed analysis of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's 1862 crushing foray on Union forces at Front Royal and Winchester, Virginia.
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Mountain Man: John Colter, The Lewis & Clark Expedition, And The Call Of The American West

John Colter is one of the icons of the American West, at the leading edge of the mountain man era of exploration of the United States west of the Mississippi River. Some might even view him as the leader of the era, tackling the unknown West much as Daniel Boone had in the East decades earlier. Indeed, the two frontiersmen likely swapped stories of their adventures, as they lived closed to one another in their retiring years.
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National Park Roads: A Legacy In The American Landscape

In "National Park Roads: A Legacy In The American Landscape," Dr. Timothy Davis details the history of a relationship as fragile and monumental as Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road – full of ups and downs, twists and turns, challenges and beauty. It is a story that many of us take for granted; after all, a park’s road serves as a de facto tour guide for most visitors, and that’s due to intricate planning and inventive engineering by park leaders for over 100 years.
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New Mexico Kicks On Route 66

Because it runs almost 2,500 miles across the United States, there's wisdom in traveling U.S. Route 66 in bites. Such a strategy not only makes it easier to fit into the typical one- or two-week vacation, but it allows you to take a slower pace to enjoy more of the landscape both directly alongside, and nearby, this iconic highway. If your focus is the Land of Enchantment, a good guide for such a trip is New Mexico Kicks On Route 66.
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The Kolob Tragedy: The Lost Tale Of A Canyoneering Calamity

As wondrous as the National Park System is, it holds wild and rugged settings that, frankly, can kill you if you're not prepared. That point is clearly driven home in The Kolob Tragedy: The Lost Tale Of A Canyoneering Calamity, which recounts the missteps of a fatal trip through the backcountry of Zion National Park in Utah.
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Where Water Is Gold: Life And Livelihood In Alaska's Bristol Bay

This is a wonderful look at life around Bristol Bay, Alaska. While the bay’s waters are known as the foremost source of sockeye salmon, the mountains surrounding the bay are also sources of great mineral wealth, and therein lies a conflict. Carl Johnson’s gorgeous, and human, photography does a fine job of showcasing a way of life that may be threatened by the Pebble Creek mine that long has been proposed to dig into the landscape.
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