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Publisher's Summary

In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Through this experience, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness.

American Buffalo is a narrative tale of that hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo's past, present, and future: to the Bering Strait Land Bridge; to buffalo jumps, where Native Americans ran buffalo over cliffs by the hundreds; even to the Bronx Zoo, where legend has it a depressed buffalo served as the model for the American nickel.

Rinella's erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with history, science, and the natural world. And yet it also tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.

©2008 Steven Rinella (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Driving West

If you love to travel the western and mountain states,and you love your history , this book is a must listen.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing, fun, full of information.

I loved this book, near the end it had me on the edge of my seat. I'm bummed it's over.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Awesome Read

I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive. I love stories about the American West but wasn't sure how I'd enjoy a book about what I thought would be an Alaskan buffalo hunt by "Meateater" Steven Rinella, even though I enjoy his podcast quite a bit.

What I found was a story about a hunt that was heavily decorated by historical & scientific facts & stories regarding man's interaction with the buffalo through time - ranging from the Pleistocene, Native Americans, Western Settlement, to modern day. Totally fantastic and I'd highly recommend to anybody with a taste for the outdoors and a nose for the American West.

The narrator was excellent, however, I only wish Rinella did some of his own voicework on some of his first-hand accounts. He has a certain way of speaking that would have further embellished the tales.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great History

I really enjoyed this book. I wish Steve Rinella actually read it though, I feel it would have added a little more emotion to his story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting history and hunt story.

Really interesting, and detailed, but Rinella has this strange habit of using dirty jokes to describe things which spoil the read.

The narrator mispronounced a few words which is sort of annoying. (ie. métis).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

beautifully written and informative

Steven rinella is an extremely underrated conservation writer. he will go down in history with Aldo Leopold. this book is an incredible example of his abilities, intelligence, and his passion for conservation. he's a hero.

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Very interesting

The subject of this book intrigued me and I’m glad that I took the time to read it. This subject matter is not often discussed and never like this. Good read. I recommend this book

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Very well composed

I thought it was a great book, well thought out. I was glad to hear about his personal thoughts during his hunt. With the added benefit of the history of the Bison.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Story

Anyone interested in hunting, buffalo, or the American frontier history should get this book. Rinella is a great writer and tell a compelling story about the interwined history of man and buffalo.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Steve is an amazing story teller

I wish he had narrated it himself, but this a great book. check out the meat eater podcast for more