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American Hippopotamus by [Mooallem, Jon]
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American Hippopotamus Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Length: 71 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 704 KB
  • Print Length: 71 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Atavist (December 12, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 12, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HEWJTF4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,768 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Atkinson on December 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Who would believe that two larger than life men, one a celebrated American scout and conservationist and the other a South African-German spy, each with orders kill the other in wartime, would meet for the first time while testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives in 1910 with a solution to the nation's much anticipated food crisis. And their solution? Import hippos and other African wildlife into America's underutilized national parks. Even back then the idea of America importing hippos and letting them loose in federal lands sounded loony, and yet editorials by respected American journalists embraced the concept. Although the bill ultimately failed, these extraordinary men nearly found the votes in Congress to make it happen.

This well-researched story is extraordinary and thoroughly entertaining. Mooallem gives the reader a good snapshot of both Major Frederick Russell Burnham, the "American scout" who was the model for the birth of the Boy Scout movement, and the "Black Panther," Captain Fritz Duquesne, a cunning psychopath who earlier in life had been sentenced to life in prison by the British and later was arrested by the FBI in what J. Edgar Hoover called "the greatest spy roundup in U.S. history." Interspersed are stories of Senator "Cousin Bob" Broussard of Louisiana, Theodore Roosevelt's African safari in 1909 and his almost successful attempt in 1917 to lead a U.S. Army Division of American Rough Riders into France, and the great quest of the New Food Supply Society to bring hippos to the bayou.

The one complaint I have with this story is that it lacks any photographs. Historical issues of Field and Stream include some great pictures of both Duquesne and Roosevelt on safari in Africa, and photos of Burnham and Broussard too are readily available. Given how easy it would be to add some of these to this ebook, the oversight is surprising.
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I absolutely loved this book. Larger-than-life -- but real -- characters from a period in American history that makes everyone today look like thin paper cutouts. And I applaud the author for telling the story in less than 100 pages and being done with it, rather than trying to pad it into a 300-page book. Bravo!
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Given my screen name, I almost felt I had to buy this book- and it was well worth the money and the time. There are indeed hippopotamuses in the book, but there is also a well-told biography of a fascinating man and history of events that are rarely covered in American history classes. I can almost guarantee that you will learn something new from this book, and have fun doing so.
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By MH on February 13, 2014
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This gallop through American history gives s glimpse of a time when big dreams seemed possible. This is a snapshot biography of two remarkable men, one with drive, talent and a sense of duty to his nation and the world; the other with drive, talent and a hunger for fame. This is one day placed read with two fascinating men. What a time they lived in!
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An interesting joint biography of two fascinating individuals, but the hippopotamus-farming story that tied the two together turns out to be little more than a footnote. Worth reading to learn more about Frederick Russell Burnham and the heroes of an earlier age, but not so much for the supposed hook of the tale.
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a little history about some strange folks doing some strange things. I can't say it changed the way i view the world or anything but i also didnt get bored of it and set it down. It takes you back to a time when things were different but people were just as strange as they are today. I also have a funny anecdote to tell in bars.
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Great story of an unknown but fascinating chapter of American history! Well written as well. My only complaint is that I wish it had a detailed bibliography! There were several times that I wanted to know where Mooallem got his information, but that was not possible. As an American History professor, I love being able to provide my students with random, forgotten historical facts. This book is perfect for this category. However, it is hard to share said information if you are not able to corroborate the information through the original sources. I understand that this was written for a broader non-history audience, but when writing a non-fiction book about actual people and events, bibliographies are important - both for professional accountability and also to give the reader to an opportunity to continue their own journey of expanding their knowledge by going back and look and other sources on the topic if they wanted.
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This is a great story that sent me down several rabbit trails of historical research. Reading further in "Scouting on Two Continents" about Frederick Russell Burnham was a delight. Boy, they just don't make "em like that anymore. Well done Jon Mooallem, I can't wait for the movie!
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