Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

White Rage

Louise Erdrich - Monday, May 29, 2017

Dear Readers,

For the past month I've been acting as a book physician, writing out summer reading prescriptions for people with a few hours to spare.  Mostly, I've written out prescriptions for books that will make people laugh or become immersed in suspense.  White Rage by Carol Anderson is stronger medicine.  Images of black rage abound -- from riots in L.A. to Ferguson, Minneapolis, St. Paul -- but images of white rage are often hidden in the acts of the justice system and in the halls of congress.  Anderson has undertaken a history of white rage, and it is shocking from the first pages.  Who knew that Abraham Lincoln wanted to rid the country of slaves by sending them to what is now Panama?  How many high school classes teach the true history of Reconstruction?  With unceasing clarity and calm,  Carol Anderson narrates a history so compelling that I could not stop reading.  If you're thinking of picking up a true crime drama, why not enlarge your thinking with a true historical crime drama?  

This is an extraordinary book and I hope you read it.

For books and readers everywhere,

Yours truly,

Louise 

Superior Lake

Louise Erdrich - Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes reads like a mystery -- how on earth will people and the lakes themselves defeat invasive species like the sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels, alewives?  Dan Egan makes the story of each battle epic, full of colorful characters and bold acts.  A reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Egan knows how to pare a story to its most interesting elements.  Having finished the book, I immediately started over.  (I can't remember the last time I've done that.)  More questions:  Will the deep troughs, now drains, that have been mistakenly engineered to assist large vessels, draw down the lakes?  Will the salmon. or the whitefish and other native species, triumph in the end?  And what of the waterless states fed by the shrinking Colorado River?  There have always been plans to pipe Lake Superior out of MInnesota.  When and how will our fellow Americans come for this vast, but finite, treasure?   

Taken for granted, spoiled, fished out, over-loved, will the Great Lakes survive us?  Probably, in some form, but we could very well not survive their loss.  So this book is on my MUST READ list.  Suspenseful, superbly informative, crucial.  I also love Egan's portraits of people working for and against the lakes -- a "World War II veteran named Vernon Applegate showed up and did what no creature in the past 360 million years had apparently been able to do.  He got under the lamprey's skin.  He figured out how it migrates and how it hides.  How it feeds, how it breeds, and how it dies.  And then he put a stake in it." 

If you don't know what a sea lamprey is, look it up.  You are in for a treat.  Bring this book to any lake this summer, any beach, and be grateful for Applegate.


Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

Up Late Again Victory Gardens The Game of Silence neighborhood how good looking you are Birchbark Books Love ptsd Chickadee Dogs President Obama Peak Oil The Transition Handbook health care reform Rare Books local economy The Round House The Resilient Gardener Native Arts Jim Harrison Zombies Ojibwemowin This Green World Anishinabemowin Poetry language revitalization Light in August Keepers of the Trees post holiday photography Pembina peculiar touches of green and gold Minneapolis Peak Water adventure The Blue Sky The Porcupine Year buffalo Tar Sands E.L. Doctorow Makoons Interview book and dinner club Let's Take the Long Way Home Milkweed Press The Royal Prussian Library favorite dog customers joy Gail Caldwell Kabul thank you friends Guthrie Theater Too Loud A Solitude spring S.C. Gwynne William Trevor 2666 leaves and snow British Navy post holiday reads ependent Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge trees Emily Johnson gardens Wolf Hall Aubrey/Maturin Women and Trees Tree Houses Anishinabe Unnatural Disasters north dakota Alice Munro birchbark house series Bill Moyers Journal favorite book gratitude Chitra Divakaruni The Birchbark House friends sweden Louise Wastepaper thanks Easter Island Empire of the Summer Moon World on the Edge Minnesota show your love Hillary Clinton Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive Botany Brown Dog Philip Roth Master Butchers Singing Club National Book Award cafe city of books School Gardens coyote bill mckibben Gryphon Press Crushing Books anniversary Ha Jin Czech Writer Video Aza Bleak House Islam boarding school Anton Treuer Hilary Mantel devoted customers Stephen Salisbury Nemesis monkey in a dryer france incarnation Nero tree books graphix Native People Population Keystone XL Too Much Happiness Fireworks The Farmer's Daughter ireland Kate DiCamillo japan knowledge the most romantic city in the world The Wealth of Nature favorite tree pilgrims Afghanistan Catalyst NACDI:All My Relations solstice, Thomas King Mohamed's Ghosts Ice Book Review Green Team germany State Troopers 350.org italy Roberto Bolano Mankato Powwow Ojibwe Kenwood Gardens aquifer Wendy Makoons Geniusz Vic Glover Education Dartmouth support fresh water twins plants Alan Weisman Small Bookstores as Commons cafe closing Climate Change Collective Denial euphoria Remarkable Trees mississippi Bohumil Hrabal china Beth Dooley Magers and Quinn The Ojibwe Canada H2Oil More Remarkable Trees Patrick O'Brian Gary Clement Greenland Michael Jackson green

Archive