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‘The Write Angle’: Lauren joins Justin Angle in a conversation with Christopher Preston, author of ‘Tenacious Beasts’

Christopher Preston, author of ‘Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals’ (MIT Press).

This week, TWQ host Lauren Korn joins A New Angle host Justin Angle in his podcast studio for a conversation with environmental philosopher Christopher Preston, author of Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals (MIT Press).

The news about wildlife is dire—more than 900 species have been wiped off the planet since industrialization. Against this bleak backdrop, however, there are also glimmers of hope and crucial lessons to be learned from animals that have defied global trends toward extinction: bears in Italy, bison in North America, whales in the Atlantic. These populations are back from the brink, some of them in numbers unimaginable in a century. How has this happened? What shifts in thinking did it demand? In crisp, transporting prose, Christopher Preston reveals the mysteries and challenges at the heart of these resurgences.

Drawing on compelling personal stories from the researchers, Indigenous people, and activists who know the creatures best, Preston weaves together a gripping narrative of how some species are taking back vital, ecological roles. Each section of the book—farms, prairies, rivers, forests, oceans—offers a philosophical shift in how humans ought to think about animals, passionately advocating for the changes in attitude necessary for wildlife recovery.

About Christopher:

Christopher Preston’s essays have appeared in the Atlantic, Smithsonian, Aeon, and on the BBC website. He teaches environmental philosophy at the University of Montana and lives in Missoula, Montana.

Christopher Preston is currently reading:

Chasing the Ghost Bear: On the Trail of America’s Lost Super Beast by Mike Stark (Bison Books) going to read:

Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge by Erica Gies (University of Chicago Press)

Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World by Kristin Ohlson (Patagonia Books)

...and also recommends:

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd (Canongate Books)

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb (Chelsea Green Publishing Company)

Fathoms: The World in The Whale by Rebecca Giggs (Simon & Schuster)

Wildling: Returning Nature to Our Farm by Isabella Tree (New York Review of Books)

The Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story about Looking at People Looking at Animals in America by Jon Moallem (Penguin Random House)

The Blue Bear: A True Story of Friendship and Discovery in the Alaskan Wild by Lynn Schooler (Ecco Press)

Feral: Rewilding the Land, The Sea, and Human Life by George Monbiot (University of Chicago Press)

Justin Angle is currently reading:

A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist Manifesto by China Miéville (Haymarket Books)

...and recommends:

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (Bantam Books)

Tracking Gobi Grizzlies: Surviving Beyond the Back of Beyond by Douglas Chadwick (Patagonia Books)

Plagues Upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History by Kyle Harper (Princeton University Press)

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kobert (Picador USA)

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins)

Nonzero: The Logic of Human History by Robert Wright (Vintage Books)

Lauren Korn recommends:

Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals by Christopher Preston (MIT Press)

Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World by Lisa Wells (Picador USA)

Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming by Liz Carlisle (Island Press)

Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World by Emma Marris (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction by Michelle Nijhuis (W. W. Norton & Company)

Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear by Bryce Andrews (Mariner Books)

Four-Fifths a Grizzly: A New Perspective on Nature That Just Might Save Us All by Douglas Chadwick (Patagonia Books)

Wolfish: Wolf, Self, and the Stories We Tell about Fear by Erica Berry (Flatiron Books)

The team for this The Write Angle episode included Lauren Korn, host, co-producer, and editor; Justin Angle, host and co-producer; and Chris Moyles, producer.

The music for this episode was was written and recorded by John Floridis and VTO, and it was subsequently mashed-up by Jake Birch.

The Write Angle is a production of Montana Public Radio.

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now the host of Montana Public Radio’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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