Coyote America, by Dan Flores
The howl of a coyote at dusk is one of the chief symbols of the American West, but in recent years, we ve been hearing it farther and farther east. Even New York Cityabout as far from the Southwest as one can get, both geographically and figurativelyhas been the site of a rash of coyote sightings for more than a decade. From Central Park to the Aleutian Islands, Los Angeles to Bangor, Maine, coyotes have been found in places they ve never been seen before: one was even discovered riding a commuter train in Oregon.
The coyote, it turns out, loves the American people. This is ironic, given that since the nineteenth century, Americans have been at war with the coyote. Nevertheless, the coyote has not only survived our onslaught, it has thrived, using the streets of our cities as springboards for a takeover of the continent. Dan Flores, acclaimed historian of the American West, charts the species explosive growth not just as a natural phenomenon but a cultural one, with roots in the Native American stories of a trickster god and Warner Brothers depiction of the hapless Wile E. Coyote. The result is an American avatar: the coyote isn t just some very successful dog, it is us....
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