The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea

The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea

by Jack E. Davis

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Winner • Pulitzer Prize for History
Winner • Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction
Finalist • National Book Critics Circle Award (Nonfiction)
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, NPR, Library Journal, and gCaptain
Booklist Editors’ Choice (History)
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence

In this “cri de coeur about the Gulf’s environmental ruin” (New York Times), “Davis has written a beautiful homage to a neglected sea” (front page, New York Times Book Review).

Hailed as a “nonfiction epic . . . in the tradition of Jared Diamond’s best-seller Collapse, and Simon Winchester’s Atlantic” (Dallas Morning News), Jack E. Davis’s The Gulf is “by turns informative, lyrical, inspiring and chilling for anyone who cares about the future of ‘America’s Sea’ ” (Wall Street Journal). Illuminating America’s political and economic relationship with the environment from the age of the conquistadors to the present, Davis demonstrates how the Gulf’s fruitful ecosystems and exceptional beauty empowered a growing nation. Filled with vivid, untold stories from the sportfish that launched Gulfside vacationing to Hollywood’s role in the country’s first offshore oil wells, this “vast and welltold story shows how we made the Gulf . . . [into] a ‘national sacrifice zone’ ” (Bill McKibben). The first and only study of its kind, The Gulf offers “a unique and illuminating history of the American Southern coast and sea as it should be written” (Edward O. Wilson).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871408679
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 45,720
File size: 26 MB
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About the Author

Jack E. Davis is the author of the award-winning An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century. A professor of environmental history at the University of Florida, he grew up on the Gulf coast, and now lives in Florida and New Hampshire.

Table of Contents

Chronology 1

Prologue: History, Nature, and a Forgotten Sea 3

Introduction: Birth 12

Part 1 Estuaries, and the Lie of the Land and Sea: Aborigines and Colonizing Europeans

1 Mounds 23

2 El Golfo de México 41

3 Unnecessary Death 51

4 A Most Important River, and a "Magnificent" Bay 75

Part 2 Sea and Sky: American Debuts in the Nineteenth Century

5 Manifest Destiny 97

6 A Fishy Sea 114

7 The Wild Fish That Tamed the Coast 150

8 Birds of a Feather, Shot Together 184

Part 3 Preludes to the Future

9 From Bayside to Beachside 223

10 Oil and the Texas Toe Dip 261

11 Oil and the Louisiana Plunge 280

12 Islands, Shifting Sands of Time 304

13 Wind and Water 335

Part 4 Saturation and Loss: Post-1945

14 The Growth Coast 375

15 Florida Worry, Texas Slurry 411

16 Rivers of Stuff 440

17 Runoff, and Runaway 465

18 Sand in the Hourglass 476

19 Losing the Edge 490

Epilogue: A Success Story amid So Much Else 509

Acknowledgments 531

Notes 533

Additional Selected Sources 559

Illustration Credits 565

Index 567

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