Gaze across the fields of Antietam National Battlefield and the bucolic landscape in many locations speaks of tranquility and an agrarian 19th century society. Scratch beneath that surface, however, and stories roll out about the bloodiest single day of not just the Civil War, but of all American military engagements.
NPT Reviews of Books and other Material
A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape
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.
Death In Glacier National Park: Stories Of Accidents And Foolhardiness In The Crown Of The Continent
With visitation to the National Park System this centennial year at an all-time high, it’s no surprise I suppose that more and more people get in trouble, and some of those pay the ultimate price. Every year Glacier National Park in Montana lures hikers, anglers, employees, and climbers to the park’s high peaks, deep lakes, and raging rivers…and some to their own demise.
100 Classic Hikes Utah: National Parks And Monuments, National Wilderness And Recreation Areas, State Parks, Uintas, Wasatch
Utah is one of the largest outdoor playgrounds in the world, with incredible canyon country, lofty mountains, deep forests, and high desert all waiting to be explored. So it's no surprise that Julie Trevelyan took all of this immense landscape into account when she set out to write a hiking guide to the Beehive State.
Landscapes For The People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer Of The National Park Service
George Grant, the first chief photographer for the National Park Service, was one of the many little known people who contributed to the flourishing of the NPS and the National Park System in its early decades.
The Western landscape is in flux. Populations are swelling, sprawl is expanding population centers, water is becoming more precious as a result of drought and diversions, land-management philosophies and practices are generating political frictions. In her latest book, Sara Dant brings perspective to these changes by examining the factors that precipitated them.
No one knows more about the history of wildland fire in the United States than Stephen Pyne, a prodigious scholar, prolific writer, and former wildland firefighter who spent 15 years on the ground with the North Rim Hotshots. His encyclopedic knowledge and personal experience of wildland fire are exceptional credentials for writing this book, which traces the history of wildfire in America over the past half century.
There are literally hundreds of books on Yosemite National Park, including the iconic Ansel Adams black and white homage and John Muir’s The Yosemite, and it’s no wonder: it’s 1,200 square miles of mountains and canyons and valleys like nowhere else on Earth, and means so much to so many. And here is another must-have for your library, a rare combination of beautiful images coupled with heartfelt words by two masters of their crafts.
Roaming the gift shop in Yellowstone National Park in search of a book to fill any idle hours I might encounter after the sun went down, I spied a paperback edition of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, and figured that now, almost two decades after it came out, was as good a time as any to add his Appalachian Trail odyssey to my library. I wasn't disappointed.
One reviewer described this book, as, “…why and how we have sanctified these high-altitude mountains.” However O. Alan Weltzien’s fine effort also casts some wonderful light on aspects of the national parks and National Park Service that are very pertinent to this, the Park Service’s centennial year.
Many times we find ourselves in a national park just to marvel at the beauty, explore the wondrous sights, or simply kick back and relax without the pressures the rest of the world weighs on us. But there are times when the parks help us in other ways, holding memories that comfort us.
Kim Heacox has a long history with Denali National Park, beginning in 1981 when he was a rookie interpretive ranger. Rhythm of the Wild is a memoir, describing how Denali National Park has influenced him over three decades during which he experienced the park as a ranger, as a visitor, and as a writer-in-residence.
Wrecked In Yellowstone: Greed, Obsession, And The Untold Story Of Yellowstone's Most Infamous Shipwreck
A few years back, Editor Kurt Repanshek and I had an opportunity to tag along on a research boat headed across Yellowstone Lake. I remember it vividly, because on the way back an afternoon mountain storm whipped up some foamy whitecaps and our boat started to look pretty small for such a big lake (it covers 136 square miles, at an altitude of 7,700 feet).
Mike Yochim, through his two previous books, Yellowstone and the Snowmobile and Protecting Yellowstone has established himself as a legitimate voice and scholar of national park history. Now supplemented by a third book, A Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare, Yochim has transitioned to something vastly more personal and far less academic.