The Wolf | Penguin Random House Canada
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The Wolf

A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West

Publisher: Random House Canada
The intimate, involving story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the fabled Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her. For readers of H is for Hawk, captivating works of reportage, and iconic books on the American West.

Before humans ruled the Earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in the United States, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves from Canada back to Yellowstone National Park, igniting a battle over the very soul of the American West.
     With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, a charismatic alpha female named O-Six. She's a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. Beloved by wolf watchers, particularly Yellowstone park ranger Rick McIntyre, O-Six becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.
     But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is being challenged on all fronts: by hunters and their professional guides, who compete with wolves for the elk they all prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who resent her dominance of the stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.
     These forces collide in The Wolf, a riveting multigenerational wildlife saga that tells a larger story about the clash of values in the West--between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country's most vibrant landscapes.


The Wolf is an intimate and riveting book about America’s most iconic and embattled predator. . . . A wonderful and welcome addition to the pantheon of nature literature.” —John Vaillant, author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce
“[A] startlingly intimate portrait of the intricate, loving, human-like interrelationships that govern wolves in the wild, as observed in real time by a cadre of dedicated wolf-watchers—in the end, a drama of lupine love, care, and grief.” —Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake
“Gripping and fascinating! Wolf versus wolf, wolf versus man, man versus man.” —Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale and Hag-Seed (via Twitter)
“Written with heart, but not sentimentality, The Wolf is nothing less than Shakespearean tragedy played out against the backdrop of our troubled relationship with nature.” —J.B. MacKinnon, author of The Once and Future World
“Gorgeously written, and offering stunning insights into both animal and human nature, The Wolf is a masterly feat of science journalism.” —Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the Woods
“Wild, poignant, and compelling, The Wolf is an important, beautifully wrought book about animals, about values, and about living on this earth.” —Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin
“A transcendent tale of the American West.” —S. C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon and Rebel Yell
“Nate Blakeslee has achieved the Jack London-like feat of creating a great story whose main character is an animal.” —Nicholas Lemann, author of The Big Test and Redemption
“There are so few wolves in the West that each one can cast a kind of enchantment. This fine book takes one animal, and uses it as a way to understand the vectors that whipsaw the last wild places. It will linger in your mind and heart.” —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Radio Free Vermont
“Engaging . . . a must read for researchers, citizen scientists, and visitors to Yellowstone, where the story of the wolves continues to evolve.” —Science
“Beautiful, detailed . . . [The Wolf] centers on the rise, reign, and family life of O-Six, matriarch of the Lamar Canyon pack and so well-known to park visitors that the New York Times gave her an obituary.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“The fight . . . [over] Yellowstone’s wolves is embodied in O-Six’s story, told with great immediacy and empathy in a tale that reads like fiction. This one will grab readers and impel them into the heart of the conflict.” —Booklist (starred)
“Utterly compelling. . . . Blakeslee’s masterly use of fiction writing techniques to ratchet up the tension will hook a wide swath of readers.” —Library Journal (starred)
“Heartbreaking front-line coverage of our war on the wild . . . . Blakeslee hauntingly gives the victims faces, families, and stories. A quietly angry, aching, important book.” —Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast
“A compelling environmental drama of the reintroduction of wolves to the Rockies, as clear-sighted on human politics as it is on wolf politics.” —Neil Ansell, author of Deep Country
“The Game of Thrones story of modern western wolves, [unfolding] in just as riveting a fashion. It is an absolutely mesmerizing read.” —Dan Flores, author of Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History
The Wolf gives us true profiles of wolf lives lived in their actual families. And when humans get involved, the trajectory of their lives forever changes.” —Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
“[A] rich, poignant story of wolf recovery in Yellowstone and its impacts on the surrounding countryside and communities.” —National Parks Traveler