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IndisponibleUntamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island
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Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island

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Actuellement indisponible sur Scribd

Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island

évaluations:
4.5/5 (3 évaluations)
Longueur:
414 pages
7 heures
Sortie:
May 6, 2014
ISBN:
9780802192622
Format:
Livre

Description

The inspiring biography of the adventuresome naturalist Carol Ruckdeschel and her crusade to save her island home from environmental disaster.
 
In a “moving homage . . . that artfully articulates the ferocities of nature and humanity,” biographer Will Harlan captures the larger-than-life story of biologist, naturalist, and ecological activist Carol Ruckdeschel, known to many as the wildest woman in America. She wrestles alligators, eats roadkill, rides horses bareback, and lives in a ramshackle cabin that she built by hand in an island wilderness. A combination of Henry David Thoreau and Jane Goodall, Carol is a self-taught scientist who has become a tireless defender of sea turtles on Cumberland Island, a national park off the coast of Georgia (Kirkus Reviews).
 
Cumberland, the country’s largest and most biologically diverse barrier island, is celebrated for its windswept dunes and feral horses. Steel magnate Thomas Carnegie once owned much of the island, and in recent years, Carnegie heirs and the National Park Service have clashed with Carol over the island’s future. What happens when a dirt-poor naturalist with only a high school diploma becomes an outspoken advocate on a celebrated but divisive island? Untamed is the story of an American original who fights for what she believes in, no matter the cost, “an environmental classic that belongs on the shelf alongside Carson, Leopold, Muir, and Thoreau” (Thomas Rain Crowe, author of Zoro’s Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods).
 
“Vivid. . . . Ms. Ruckdeschel’s biography, and the way this wandering soul came to settle for so many decades on Cumberland Island, is big enough on its own, but Mr. Harlan hints at bigger questions.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
“Wild country produces wild people, who sometimes are just what’s needed to keep that wild cycle going. This is a memorable portrait.” —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
 
“Deliciously engrossing. . . . Readers are in for a wild ride.” —The Citizen-Times
Sortie:
May 6, 2014
ISBN:
9780802192622
Format:
Livre

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4.7
3 évaluations / 6 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (5/5)
    I walked into a bookstore in Savannah and was about to walk out when I started leafing through this book. The fellow working at the store said if I bought it and I did not absolutely love it, he would refund my money. So I bought it. No refund necessary. One of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. While it is absolutely a story about Carol, as is true to her character, she flips focus off her onto the turtles, precious wilderness and an absurdly interesting look at the local folklore, history and stories of Cumberland Island and all its noteworthy inhabitants, animal, plant and otherwise. If you care about the planet and its living beings, you cannot help but be charmed, horrified and well, inspired, to get of your butt and do something. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Almost finished....just a few pages to go, but entering now as right now I have a computer at the K-ville Library. The book read like somewhere between juvenile and adult nonfiction. Simplistic arguments and simplistic narrative lead to an easy read, but not overly provocative. Other than the details centering around Carol's life, the book repeated old lines of thought in a mostly uninteresting way. The narrative of Carol's life is what led me to give the book its 4 star rating.Along those lines, Carol appears to be a highly sexual sort. She can play it down all she wants, but the truth of the matter, it appears, is that she was able to use her sexuality to further her beliefs. Not a thing wrong w/ that....if more women did it it would make the world a happier place. There were a certain number of disclaimers that the author probably felt compelled to enter regarding this very idea, but I'm not buying them. E.g., "If all the men on earth died tonight, the species could continue on frozen sperm. If the women disappears, it's extinction....How much convincing does it take for a male to give up his sperm? Zero. I could ask you for your sperm right now and you'd give it to me....Women on the other hand need a lot more convincing because our eggs don't come as easily, and we're only fertile for a few days each month."Or the author Ard Eulenfeld:"She latched onto Louie McKee, got all she could out of him, then shot and killed him at the back door of the cottage he had built for her," he wrote. "Every man she touches winds up dead. She must have some kind of hole on her."Overtly sexist? Probably. But true? Again, probably. The point here is that Carol appears to be a unique goal-driven person on a wonderful mission. I firmly believe in her mission and after having retired from the NPS, am firmly against most of their "missions". I'm on her side. I do believe that she is using her womanly ways to further her agenda, which again is ok w/ me and, I believe, the author.Finally, don't read any more of this authors books, unless uvenile writing is what I'm looking for at the moment....
  • (4/5)
    An unconventional biography of an unconventional, self-taught woman who becomes one of the world's premier experts on endangered sea turtles and one of their fiercest advocates. Inspiring, entertaining, and educational. Imagine Jane Goodall and Annie Oakley bred and raised a beautiful and mercurial marine biologist. Recommend.
  • (4/5)
    A unique life and an enchanting island offers the author, Will Harlan, a wealth of material to work with. He approaches his subject matter with care and sensitivity relating to the issues at hand. For those interested in isolated abodes languishing within the wilderness, nature, and a dedicated biologist with off center attributes, this book is for you.
  • (4/5)
    At the same time a history of Cumberland Island - a biography of Carol Ruckdeschel - and a ecologial/conservation treatise. The primary figure, Carol Ruckdeschel is a true "force of nature" - a woman of limited formal education but a vast trove of real world experience in the scientific realms of biology and ecology. Her story and the history of Cumberland Island read like a work of fiction but are not fictional. At times the tales a very hard to believe - maybe because the book is written by an obvious devotee. Carol's experiences and beliefs teach us all so much about nature and man's place in it. Well worth the read.
  • (4/5)
    A fascinating and troubling read, chronicling the life of Carol Ruckdeschel, a primarily self-taught biologist and naturalist who has spent over 40 years living quite primitively on Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia, while attempting to preserve the wilderness ecology in general, and the highly endangered sea turtle in particular, on this largest and most biologically diverse barrier island in the United States. The author, a sometime volunteer ranger with the National Park Service, spent a good part of 2 decades following Carol around her island--observing her as she performed necropsies on hundreds of dead turtles that washed up on its shores; interviewing her and many of her adversaries who included National Park Service directors, local residents from Carnegie descendants to shrimpers, and even members of her own family; reviewing her field notes, journals and research papers; and sharing evenings with Carol and her husband while sipping lethal “White Peggies” (a concoction of moonshine, grapefruit juice, triple sec and lime juice) on the porch of the cabin she rebuilt using driftwood and salvaged materials. Thanks in part to Carol’s efforts before she settled on Cumberland Island, portions of two rivers in Georgia had received Wild and Scenic status, protecting the waterways and their shores and bluffs from pollution and development. She had a powerful friend and ally in Jimmy Carter, who as state senator and later governor joined her on rafting adventures on the Chattooga and Chattahoochee Rivers, and as President of the United States was a strong advocate for the environment. She has fought efforts by the NPS and the Carnegie family to bring more tourism, vehicular access and development to Cumberland Island, and was instrumental in bringing about the ultimate designation of a portion of the island as true wilderness under the Wilderness Act of 1964. She has made at least as many human enemies as friends, and has rarely yielded to the pressure of threats or circumstances. Even now, at the age of 72, after undergoing open heart surgery several years ago, she continues to live her mostly solitary life pursuing further knowledge and understanding of the ecosystem of Cumberland Island. Harlan did an excellent job of presenting Ruckdeschel’s life in context of the scientific, historical, political and social realities within which she has carried out her crusade. The result is highly readable, if feeling at times a bit too much like a non-fiction novel in its detailed narration of unrecorded conversations, and events no one really witnessed or is likely to have remembered so clearly decades after the fact. Chronology also seemed to take second place to smooth narration, but I wasn’t even aware of that being the case until I sat down to try to compose a coherent summation of events for this review. Harlan is sometimes a little vague or possibly purposely obfuscatory about dates. (For example, Carol’s last husband, Bob Shoop, died in 2003. Although this is a significant event in her life, I had to find his obituary on-line to determine the date. In the book his death seems to have happened less than a year before Carol’s heart-related illness, which my calculations put somewhere around 2011, based on various references to her age.) It’s not an interfering factor while reading, certainly, but as documentation, it leaves something to be desired. The source of her financial freedom is another hazy subject; although she “didn’t need much”, as the author frequently tells us, living off the land, she obviously requires clothing, ammunition for the shotgun with which she dispatches feral hogs, gas for her decrepit Jeep and supplies for her photography and lab work. Where it has come from is scarcely addressed in this book. Another minor quibble is the failure of the copyediting process; seldom have I encountered a published book with quite so many spelling errors, some of which would surely have been caught if the text had simply been subjected to a basic spell-checking program. Negativities aside, this is an interesting and important biographical work that should appeal to anyone with an interest in natural science, a concern for the health of our planet, or a simple need for a cracking good story. I found it hard to leave alone, and I’m sure it will be impossible to forget.