Of the many books that have been written about American rivers, most are quite forgettable, but occasionally one comes along that is outstanding . . . Now when the subject of outstanding river-books comes up, you can add another to the relatively shore list - River Life: The Natural and Cultural History of a Northern River. A fascinating exploration of the ecological, cultural, hydrological, and geomorphological processes of the Manitowish River in layperson s language, River Life aims to provide the basis for understanding not only the Manitowish but also the life of other northern rivers. Packed with information, River Life is written in a wonderfully conversational and lively style that makes it easy and fun to read . . . Bates uses his trip down the river as a framework for engrossing observations on the life of the Northwoods past, present, and future . . . Reading the book, which indeed flows like a river, is comparable to paddling down the Manitowish in Johns company, and what could be better than that? --Mike Svob, author of Paddling Northern Wisconsin; Paddling Southern Wisconsin; and Paddling Illinois
River Life is a veritable textbook for those interested in the ecology and, in some cases, the politics of rivers in general, and the history of the Manitowish River in particular. This is not a quick read, and the story, like a river, meanders back and forth . . . Bates mixes history and biology with impressive aptitude. Each chapter, each page, is a story unto itself, and when you finally reach the end, you are left with an understanding of the broad sweep of time and distance through which the Manitowish River, and the land around it, has come. --Ted Gostomski, Executive Director North American Loon Fund
An excellent resource for presenting example of natural history and ecology or for highlighting the biodiversity of northern temperate rivers . . . Bates leads the way with tantalizing stories. --Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
About the Author
John Bates is the author of seven books and a contributor to four others, all of which focus on the natural history of the Northwoods. He has worked as a naturalist in Wisconsins Northwoods for 19 years, leading an array of trips all designed to help people further understand the remarkable diversity and beauty of nature, and our place within it.