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on 3 June 2003
I first found this book at a local library, and after reading it I proceeded to buy it.
If you have even a passing interest in wolves, this is the book for you. It details the wolfs behaviour and biology in the first chapter, and goes on to describe the wolf through the eyes of the North American indigenous peoples, the american colonists, and the medieval mind. A fantastically well written account. I thought I knew wolves before I read this book, now I realise I still have a lot to learn.
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on 23 May 1998
This is probably the most informative book on wolves I've read. It's divided into four sections--the first is about wolves, the animals; what they eat, where they can be found, breeding, socializing, etc., and contains some unusual facts about wolves. The second section is about Native Americans and wolves--how the wolf affects Native American society (symbolism, etc.) The third, and probably the most horrific part, is about North Americans and wolves. This section covers the "war on wolves" that started in the 1800's and still goes on today--it contains mortifying statistics and facts about this dark, little-known period in American history. Almost too informative, if you know what I mean... The last section is about the wolf in Europe; the wolf in the middle ages, its place in literature, and some facts on wolf mythology. Very informative--especially for an older book--and a real eye-opener.
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on 22 May 2007
This is just the most incredible book. it has taught me so much, not just about wolves, but about the ignorance of Western minds and how closed we are to our world. So much of it is so obvious that i found myself thinking "my God, Why didn't i see that?"

This man is truly an enlightened individual. This book is a touching account of the wolf, the wolf's relationship with man, and how wrong the white man was in his brutal (and mostly unprovoked) extermination of these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. I personally feel that everyone should read this book, if only to open their eyes to how much they don't know.
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on 13 September 1998
Of Wolves and Men tells first about how beautiful and intelligent wolves are, and then gives the sad details of the war on wolves. Sometimes being totally unbiased is the best way to convince people. If anyone ever killed a wolf after reading this book, they truly have no heart.
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on 17 October 2004
This is an amazing book. It really brings home the appalling way we humans have treated this magnificent being throughout history. Lopez provides an insight into the minds of those that truly believed killing these animals was what God wanted, and the cruelty wolves have suffered at out hands.
Adversely, this book also tells of those people who revere the wolf above any other beast. It shows the alternative perspective, and really accentuates the traits that make a wolf such a wonderful creature.
Definitely a book to read if you have any interest at all in the wolf!
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on 18 June 2012
This book was on my "wish list" for a very long time - probably 2-3 years when finally I've decided to buy it. And I'm glad I did. At this point, I'm not even sure how to start this review as this it is a very moving and heart-breaking, but at the same time very fascinating and informative book about wolves and their "relationship" with humans. It will partly shock you, partly make you wonder about "beauty" of those animals, and partly make you think of how life on Earth would look like if humanity would behave in a different, more respectful way towards the nature. Even though the book was published in 1979, nothing has changed since then - it is still a very valid material as it was back then, maybe even more so, as currently we seems to be disregarding nature and wrecking the planet in much more destructive way.

In a small way, it will also help you to understand how this incredible animal has come to live so strongly in the human heart and at the same time how misunderstood it was (and still is). In fact, after all those years, reduced to a fraction of their former range (for me part 3 of the book is really heart breaking and distressing), it's amazing that wolves even still exist - and it would be shameful and irresponsible for us to let them go. This book is not only for people who are captivated with the life of wolves, but also for every animal lover and everybody who is even just a little bit interested in wonderful nature around us. And if you didn't know anything about them before picking up this book, you simply won't look at them in the same way as before after finishing reading it.

The book has 4 parts, 14 chapters in total, about 300 pages, several photographs and illustrations (not a high quality and if you are looking for a book with high quality, glossy photographs of wolves - this is not a book for you), good bibliography and index.

If you have to read just one book about wolves, make it this one - or at least start with this one. I can guarantee that you won't be regretting that choice. I know I don't.

Side Note: If you would like to know more about those animals, I recommend Shaun Ellis books and movies. He is truly one of them.
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on 3 December 1997
Lopez shows in embarrassing detail human ambivalance toward the natural world, using the wolf as a metaphor, for our relationship as exploiter and pioneer and protecter and conservationist. Lopez is really asking if humanity feels it can afford to save these essential animals in an ecosystem that is out of balance, and rethink our ideas of wilderness or if we can afford not to. If the wolf is the symbol of all that is wild in wilderness then the campaign to reintroduce wild populations in the American west transcends economics and penetrates to the heart of the national debate on preserving those places and the envirnmental legacy we will leave our childern.
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on 28 February 2011
This book is full of thought-provoking ideas and insights, communicated in a clear and easy-to-read style.
It gives the reader far more than the flesh and blood wolf of wildlife documentaries: it gives us the wolf as it exists in the imagination of those cultures who have lived alongside it. The author argues that our understanding of wolves is limited because they have been studied solely in terms of what white men have considered significant. He addresses this by providing a fascinating section on Native American attitudes towards the wolf. It is disappointing that women scarcely get a look-in, meriting hardly three pages. This is explained away as being due to the fact that the wolf is traditionally esteemed by warriors and shamans, neither of which is women's preserve. Lopez could do with examining his own pre-conceptions here, or else casting his net wider than North America, perhaps.
He makes some intriguing suggestions about wolf behaviour. For example, he suggests that there is a bond between predator and prey and that both must agree to a hunt to the death. I don't know whether this is true; I'm not sure that really matters. The possibility gives the wolf and our ideas about it a little more living space.
This book has much to offer those who are interested in these complex animals. It also has much to offer those who are interested in human beings, and particularly so for those seeking a way to live alongside the other animals with whom we share this world.
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on 24 October 2007
This is a truly absorbing book written in a beautiful style and with so much detail about all aspect of wolves - their history, their place in nature, their day-to-day habits and behaviour as a family, their relationship with the humans in their territory, especially with Native American society. There are also some interesting anecdotes, and facts and figures about the position of the wolf nowadays - but I found it was also an excellent portrayal about the dark and weak side of man.

Men seem incapable of overcoming the desire to kill, even wipe out, anything presenting a threat, both spiritual and physical. The cat, the tiger, even certain ethnic races. Barry Lopez relates how, in the last two centuries the wolf has been persecuted in a most vicious manner. Some of the descriptions in this book of the atrocities of man aren't easy to read and you end up asking yourself many questions about human nature.

I agree with a previous reviewer that everyone should read this book, there is so much to be learned from it about acceptance and tolerance of living creatures.
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on 11 August 1999
For all those people out there who would love to hear the cry of a wild wolve, this is the story of how this priviledge was almost destroyed forever, and what we need to know to make sure it never is. Barry Lopez is a brave man to tell this tale.
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