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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Biographies

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April 14, 2010

Book Roundup Wednesday: Biographies

Book review image Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Today we're recommending biographies about environmentalists.

Falconer on the Edge: A Man, His Birds, and the Vanishing Landscape of the American West (by Rachel Dickinson, $24, Houhgton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2009): To better understand her husband's love of falconry, author Rachel Dickinson decides to explore the history of the sport. She profiles renowned falconer Steve Chindgren and discovers strong bonds between Chindgren and his birds.  

The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest (by Jack Nisbet, $24, Sasquatch Books, Oct. 2009): Author and historian Jack Nisbet tracks the path of 19th-century explorer David Douglas while documenting a variety of ecosystems including the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. The Douglas fir owes its name to the Scottish naturalist who sketched and collected specimens for the London Horticultural Society.

Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs: The Life of Velma Johnston (by David Cruise and Alison Griffiths, $26, Scribner, March 2010): In 1950, Velma Johnston, a Nevada secretary and a polio survivor, began a lifelong campaign to stop the roundup and slaughter of wild mustangs. Authors David Cruise and Alison Griffiths recount Johnston's efforts, which earned her the nickname "Wild Horse Annie" and eventually resulted in legislation that protected these wild horses. 

Liz Claiborne: The Legend, the Woman (by Art Ortenberg, $25, Taylor Trade Publishing, April 2010): Art Ortenberg, Liz Claiborne's husband, describes the personality behind the fashion empire, revealing that the designer, who lost her battle with cancer in 2007, left a legacy beyond her eponymous clothing line. Claiborne's outdoor experiences inspired her to create the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, which continues to fund environmental conservation projects around the world.

--Della Watson



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