In this epic history of wild horses, journalist and author Stillman (Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave) traverses her longtime beat and passion, the American West, for a detailed look at 400 years of New World history. Many readers may be unaware of the mustang's precarious political situation or that, currently, ""a bizarre war is underfoot"" against them; Nixon's landmark 1971 legislation protecting free-roaming horses was recently undone by President Bush (who, as governor of Texas, ""presided over two of the country's three remaining horse slaughterhouses""). Today, there remain fewer than 18,000 wild horses and burros in Nevada, their primary habitat, a number down by nearly 30 percent in the past ten years. Decades of roundups and slaughters can be traced to federal programs for livestock farmers, beginning with the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, which make land cheap, grazing regulations lax and wild horses an official nuisance. The story of these beautiful, symbolic animals is certain to evoke passionate reactions in many readers, especially history buffs, animal lovers, farmers and politicians.
Reviewed on: 06/02/2008 Release date: 06/01/2008 Genre: Nonfiction