Book Review #1:
Steeped in history, the Appalachian wilderness has been profoundly affected by the people who have lived and worked there. This volume traces the natural history of the Appalachian forest while taking into account the people and politics that have shaped its development. Bolgiano (Mountain Lion, LJ 9/1/95) is well qualified to write about this area, as she and her husband make their home on 100 acres of the old-growth forest. She has done her research thoroughly, consulting experts from several area universities for information about forest growth, logging practices, fires, geology, Native American history, bird and animal life, conservation issues, and acid rain. The result is a comprehensive study, personalized with anecdotes of the author's own experiences living and working in Appalachia. The distinct, unique personalities of the mountain people enhance discussions of issues and politics, and the reader gets a feel for the reality of Appalachian life. Interest in this volume should not be limited to the geographic area in question, as it addresses the broader issues of ecology, conservation, and recreational use of public lands. From Library Journal.
Book Review #2:
Like a skipping stone flung across an ocean, Bolgiano's 280 pages of well-researched and meticulously compiled facts about the forest glancingly hit almost every character and episode in the mountins' history, from the mastodons and ground sloths that roamed the ancient balds to the turn-of-the-century bears so gorged on pre- blight chestnuts that they could barely run. . . . Bolgiano does a fine job of converying the ecological, environmental and cultural intricacies of the once-primeval forest, and finding in them, as she rightly puts it, "the greatest of Appalachian paradoxes: attachment to place and complicity in its destruction." It's a theme that hits home, both as an explanation of the past and a warning for the future. From the Washington Post