Of Wolves and Men
Barry Holstun Lopez, John Baugess
(Charles Scribner's Sons, Sept. 1, 1979)
Originally published in 1978, this classic exploration of humanity’s complex relationship with and understanding of wolves returns with a new afterword by the author.Humankind's relationship with the wolf is the sum of a spectrum of responses ranging from fear to admiration and affection. Lopez’s classic, careful study has won praise from a wide range of reviewers and improved the way books on wild animals are written. Of Wolves and Men explores the uneasy interaction between wolves and civilization over the centuries, and the wolf's prominence in our thoughts about wild creatures. Drawing upon an impressive array of literature, history, science, and mythology as well as extensive personal experience with captive and free-ranging wolves, Lopez argues for the wolf's preservation and immerses the reader in its sensory world, creating a compelling portrait of the wolf both as a real animal and as imagined by different kinds of men. A scientist might perceive the wolf as defined by research data, while an Eskimo hunter sees a family provider much like himself. For many Native Americans the wolf is also a spiritual symbol, a respected animal that can strengthen the individual and the community. With irresistible charm and elegance, Of Wolves and Men celebrates careful scientific fieldwork, dispels folklore that has enabled the Western mind to demonize wolves, explains myths, and honors indigenous traditions, allowing us to understand how this remarkable animal has become so prominent for so long in the human heart.