Boyle's The Hudson River gives the amazing story of the Hudson River. Just about every species of animal life (fish, insects, and birds) from the rivers' origin to its mouth are disgussed. The Storm King plant and ConEd struggle surfaces. A chapter is devoted to a local fisherman who knows more about the river than anyone else. It is too bad that this classic is out of print, for I suggest that any ecologist at heart should own a copy. (My copy was "borrowed" from my teacher, and shall return home come the end of school.) Even if you do not live in New York State, or have no plans to ever go there, this book is an ecologist's dream. Not to put any other rivers down, but the Hudson River has the most incredible history around. If you can actually find this now-rare book I strongly urge you to buy it.
In the early chapters Boyle paints an idyllic picture of aprimeval forest paradise with sparse native population that livedmainly off the land and needed to engage in limited amount of agriculture. The arrival of the Europeans spelled immediate eruption of violence. Not that there was none among the native tribes.... Boyle continues with a twenty page historical sketch of the HV during the 400 years and the Valley's ecology was affected. After these two chapters he proceeds to describe each stretch of the Hudson starting with the Adirondack region along with the beauty and problems each area. At this point it becomes apparent that Boyle's main interest is fish because of good half of the book is devoted to angling and description of fish. This is somewhat puzzling in this edition in view of the preface that he wrote in 1979, ten years after the first publication of the book that (he) does not "eat any waterfowls taken from the Hudson River south of Hudson Falls because of likely contamination by PCB's or other chemicals." That part is explained in the Epilogue, 1968-1978. The amount of attention devoted to fishing and the warning in the end makes the book seem irrelevant or else a historical curiosity. In addition to the fishing lore which is at times interesting and informative--there are pages devoted to a single species, sturgeon, for example, including a recipe for making caviar, or bass, there is wrangling with industrial polluters, Con Edison, governments, State, Federal, Local who are always in cohoots with those they were to watch. There is the Storm King Mountain fiasco though the first edition of the book came out before that blew over.
Fantastic Book I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Having been born in NY in a town on the Hudson, I found it especially interesting to learn about the history of the Hudson River. Highly recommended.
An insider's view of an historic battle to save one of the world's great rivers, passionately written by a man who was instrumental in launching it. Boyle, a journalist and sportsman, has an extraordinary grasp of the larger issues involved, and a naturalist's attention to detail. You will learn more about this surprising tidal estuary than you imagined wanting to know -- and enjoyably too. If you find the detailed sections on marine life too much -- just skim them and continue. It's more than worth your while.