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Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books) Hardcover – October, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books
  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press; First Edition edition (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295978406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295978406
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,607,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

An outgrowth of Taylor's doctoral dissertation, this book addresses many aspects of the salmon crisis: aboriginal fishing, European settlement (including mining and agriculture), hatcheries, industrial fisheries, and pen rearing of salmon. He concludes with a chapter calling for all parties to take responsibility for salmon stocks and habitat restoration. Well researched and well documented, the book captures the complexity of the salmon's plight and presents it in a well-organized format. Fully a third of the book is devoted to notes from chapters, citation abbreviations, source notes for maps, and the bibliographic essay. Making Salmon is a fairly opinionated treatment of the subject. A similar book with a more even tone is Upstream: Salmon and Society in the Pacific Northwest (National Academy Pr., 1996), but both works deserve a place in every academic and public library, particularly those in the Pacific Northwest.ABarbara Butler, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Charleston
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Of the nearly dozen books written about Pacific salmon in the last few years, this is the best and most informative.

(Library Journal)

This is a benchmark book in the environmental history of the Pacific Northwest, one that breaks new ground and provides a model for future discussions in the field.... Everyone concerned about today’s salmon conditions in the Pacific Northwest and the importance of historical agency in environmental affairs should read this book.

(Environmental History)

Taylor's purpose is to help us understand just how hard it is to grapple with ecological problems that are also intensely cultural and political and economic.... By showing us how complicated the human history of salmon has been in the past, Taylor assembles the essential tools we need for thinking more clearly about its future.

(William Cronon, from the Foreword)

Making Salmon is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how the salmon crisis began and as a caution to those who think there are easy ways to get out of it.

(Richard White, Stanford University)

Exhaustively researched and written in clear and graceful prose, Making Salmon... will prove to be the definitive study of its subject until well into the twenty-first century.

(William G. Robbins, Oregon State University) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Joseph E. Taylor III is a professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He previously taught at Iowa State University and the University of Portland. His specialties are the history of western North America and the history of fisheries and fishery science. For more see his webpage at http://www.sfu.ca/~taylorj/

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Klingle on February 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Taylor's award-winning history of the Northwest salmon crisis is the best book to date on this important topic. No other study is as well researched or beautifully written as MAKING SALMON. Taylor, who teaches environmental and Western United States history at Iowa State University, traces the historical decline of salmon runs throughout the Pacific Northwest, focusing primarily on Oregon. His argument--that while many have claimed to speak for salmon, most have actually articulated their own needs instead--takes the current debate beyond the politics of blame. Understanding the complex social and environmental history of the "salmon crisis," he argues, is essential to thinking more clearly about the future of our region's fisheries. Most impressive is his critique of the role hatcheries have played in diminishing Northwest salmon runs. Science and technology, he concludes, have not always saved nature from human abuses. Abundant illustrations, detailed maps, and a rich bibliography round out the book. There are many titles that explore the decline of salmon in the Pacific Northwest. None address the issue as artfully and intelligently as MAKING SALMON. It is required reading for anyone who cares about the future of Northwest salmon or the people who depend upon them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Making Salmon is the definitive work on the problems facing the salmon fishery of the Pacific Northwest. For as long as man has lived he has exploited the salmon. Joseph Taylor takes the reader on a journey through time as he leads us step by step through the decline of these once great fish. There is plenty of culpability to go around. Foresters, developers, commercial fisherman, native Americans, even sport fishermen all come in for their share of blame. Although focusing on Oregon, Taylor's work is easily transferable anywhere salmon swim, from Alaska to California.
Extremely well documented (fully a third of the book is taken up with notes and other addenda) Making Salmon is occasionally dry but never dull. What is most dramatic about this story is the resiliency of the salmon. Time and time again they manage to survive despite our best efforts to save them!
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of dams, hatcheries, consumption or conservation, you will find merit in this work. Making Salmon is a must read for anyone interested in the rivers and fisheries of the Northwest.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JEJB on March 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As long as man has lived in the Pacific Northwest he has exploited the salmon. In this thorough history of the travails of the pacific salmon, Joseph Taylor does not hesitate to mince words or point the finger of blame, and there is plenty of blame to go around. Native Americans, commercial fishermen, loggers, farmers, sport fishermen, politicians, the states, the feds, the hatcheries, and others, all share the responsibility for the decline of these great fish.
Although focusing on Oregon, MAKING SALMON is easily transferable anywhere Pacific salmon exist, from California to Alaska. Extremely well documented, (fully a third of the book is taken up with notes and other addenda) MAKING SALMON takes the reader step by step through the last two centuries of development in the Northwest and what that has meant to the salmon fishery there. Taylor paints an excellent history of failure and simplistic answers to a complex problem. What comes through, as most intriguing, is the resiliency of the salmon. They somehow manage to survive despite our best efforts to save them. Resiliency should not be confused with immortality however.
Not always an easy read, MAKING SALMON nonetheless remains essential to anyone wishing to better understand the plight of the Pacific salmon or who is interested in the fine detail of what happens when man and nature collide.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
There's your text books on salmon, and there's required reading.
Of the 300-odd salmon titles, Making Salmon is one of those you
must read. Like First Fish, First People, Making Salmon is about
the human side of the fishery, its evolution and confabulation
as a fought-over resource. Absolutely fascinating history, you
realize right away that nobody has an absolute moral high ground
in the salmon debate. Everything is allied against its survival,
and yet magically, miraculously, the salmon continue to return.
Like Mountain in the Clouds, put Making Salmon on your booklist.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles Webber III on November 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mr. Taylor accurately identifies most of the causes of the salmon population crisis facing Washington state, Oregon, Alaska, and British Columbia. And he is dead on in his assessment of the impact of farm fisheries on salmon ecology.
The book grossly understates, however, the impact of logging on salmon habitat. Without canopy to cool streams, temperature-sensitive salmon simply cannot spawn successfully. And let's not overlook the role that clear-cutting plays in causing erosion, sedimentation, and flooding. It's true that salmon ecology can still suffer from genetic contamination by farm fish, point-source and non-point-source pollution, illegal overfishing on the high seas, legal overfishing in fresh water, damming, and overuse of water by irrigators and developers. But let's not downplay the egregious impact of logging.
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