A Place Called Yellowstone

The Epic History of the World’s First National Park

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9781640096653 | Hardcover 6 x 9 | 432 pages Buy it Now

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Book Description

This epic history of America’s first national park explores how a remote Western landscape became an iconic symbol of our country and its vast wilderness so influential to our understanding of the natural world

It has been called Wonderland, America’s Serengeti, the crown jewel of the National Park System, and America’s best idea. But how did this faraway landscape evolve into one of the most recognizable places in the world? As the birthplace of the national park system, Yellowstone witnessed the first-ever attempt to protect wildlife, to restore endangered species, and to develop a new industry centered on nature tourism.

Yellowstone remains a national icon, one of the few entities capable of bridging ideological divides in the United States. Yet the park’s history is also filled with episodes of conflict and exclusion, setting precedents for Native American land dispossession, land rights disputes, and prolonged tensions between commercialism and environmental conservation. Yellowstone’s legacies are both celebratory and problematic. A Place Called Yellowstone tells the comprehensive story of Yellowstone as the story of the nation itself.

About the Author

Praise For This Book

“In this fascinating account of America's most famous landscape, Randall Wilson tells the history of Yellowstone Park and how it relates to the larger story of the American West. In vivid detail, Wilson weaves a compelling tale about a then-revolutionary concept—preserve a spectacular wilderness from commercial exploitation while opening it to the public. A Place Called Yellowstone is a must read for anyone who cares about Americans' relationship to the natural world and the nation's legacy of public lands.” —Peter Stark, author of Gallop Toward the Sun: Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison's Struggle for the Destiny of a Nation

"The Yellowstone landscape has stirred everyone who ever set foot there. What Wilson achieves in this book is a fascinating account of how a remote place on the map became something iconic. It's a winding historical adventure—at times exhilarating, at times horrifying—that reveals what makes a place renowned. His tales of this tectonic landscape will move you!" ––Christopher J. Preston, author of Tenacious Beasts

"In A Place Called Yellowstone, Randall Wilson addresses a simple question: How did such a geographically isolated park evolve into a national icon that has shaped the way Americans interact with and value nature? His thoughtful, wide-ranging, and engaging answer takes us from the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano 2.1 million years ago to today’s first steps toward co-managing Yellowstone by the National Park Service and the Indigenous peoples who know it as a homeland.” ––Terence Young, author of Heading Out: A History of American Camping

“Randall Wilson's lifelong passion for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and backpacking in the Great American West led him to Yellowstone National Park more than twenty-five years ago, and like so many others Randy fell in love with the world's first national park and all that it embodies. The result is this fine book, exceedingly well written and informative on environmental and human history beginning with the colossal explosions of the Yellowstone caldera that set the stage for what we see today, as well as the human dramas that have played out since the first Paleo Indians appeared more than 13,000 years ago to the arrival of the first European Americans in the area, the creation of Yellowstone Park, and then all the way through to the present day. Well written, massively researched, and personally experienced by Randy during countless visits to the park, A Place Called Yellowstone is highly recommended!” —Jeff Henry, fifty-year resident and employee in Yellowstone National Park, photographer and historian, and author of ten books on Yellowstone