The Tucson Weekly calls Endangered “lively and intelligent.” Here’s an excerpt of the full review:
On the surface, Endangered is a comprehensive environmental history of the American Southwest (Arizona and New Mexico, and pieces of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Texas). But this is really just the background through which Tobin cleverly weaves his tale of the ESA and the various fault lines it has created in both the political and the natural worlds.
Utne Reader says “little in Mitch Tobin’s deeply reported book about the landmark legislation is pat or predictable.” Here’s an excerpt of the full review:
Tobin knows so much about the ESA that it’s easy to understand why he’s a consultant to environmental groups. But Endangered sprang from a 10-part, yearlong series he did in his former life as a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, a task that was aided and enhanced by a raft of colleagues, as well as reporting fellowships and the cooperation of many sources. This kind of deep, resource-intensive reporting is itself an endangered species.
… goes far beyond the headlines to bring us the story behind the story—personalities with dust on their boots, cryptic policies, and animals lying dead at our feet. Like the good reporter he is, Tobin can take a vat of facts and distill a spirited story, one served with thoughtful analysis and constructive suggestions. The result is a very solid but entertaining history of the Endangered Species Act in the Southwest.
“. . . the author pulls the Endangered Species Act out of the political catfight that often impedes its enforcement and sheds light on the act’s intricacies, using science and a keen human element as his great illuminators . . . Examining the erosion of species security in the U.S. through the lens of global-warming awareness, Tobin drafts a blueprint for the bleak future of already at-risk animal and plant populations while describing in plain English how the situation continues to worsen. His engaging portraits of the movers and shakers on both ends of the political spectrum reveal some surprising results in the biodiversity blame game . . . ”
— Santa Fe New Mexican, July 16, 2010
“Mitch Tobin takes us to the edge of life. Mass extinction is now our way of death and unless we heed this clear-eyed book with vivid examples from the Southwest, well, we’re going to be home alone.”
— Charles Bowden, author of Down by the River and Murder City
“It is an intelligent, readable, and timely book that every environmentalist will enjoy (and should read), and the issues it highlights are reflective of essentially identical conflicts the world over. As Tobin points out, “Extinction is tantamount to burning the last copy of a book that holds answers to questions we haven’t even asked yet.” This book takes readers inside the battle to prevent human-driven extinctions, while simultaneously exploring the implications of our behavior toward other species, from ecology to ethics. This is one of the most important books ever written about the struggle to preserve our Southwestern ecological landscape.”
— Richard C. Brusca, Ph.D., Senior Director, Research and Conservation,
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
“Mitch Tobin has written a sweeping account of the plight of endangered species and the Endangered Species Act, the controversial law that protects them. Drawing on his experience as a journalist covering some of the Southwest’s hottest endangered species controversies, Tobin addresses the numerous challenges faced by endangered species, from forest fires to global climate change, from invasive species to illegal immigration. While he clearly recognizes the importance of saving species from extinction, Tobin challenges our assumptions of who the good guys and the bad guys are by drawing compelling portraits of government officials, ranchers, loggers, environmentalists, and politicians struggling to balance the needs of endangered species with the ever-growing demands of modern American life. As someone who has worked on endangered species conservation for more than two decades, I think this is an important book that should be read by everyone who cares about the kind of world we will leave to future generations.”
— Bob Irvin, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs
Defenders of Wildlife
“Tobin’s first hand account of the endangered species battleground in the American Southwest offers a valuable and unique perspective. His narrative weaves together a combination of biology, politics, regional culture wars, legal strategies, economics and personal experience. By focusing on the Southwest he draws our attention to some of the most colorful and dynamic endangered species and political players in this highly contentious debate. This is one of the first books out to look at the endangered species problem through the lens of climate change, and his insights are extremely useful and timely. Aldo Leopold taught us that the first rule of intelligent tinkering with an ecosystem is to make sure to keep all the parts. Tobin has displayed all the parts of the endangered species debate so that those who are attempting to tinker with the Endangered Species Act will know just how complex the situation is before they jump to conclusions about reform.”
— Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director