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Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West

Written by Sara Dant

Narrated by Lee Ann Howlett

Duration 11 hours and 53 minutes

In Losing Eden award-winning historian Sara Dant debunks the myth of the American West as “Eden” and instead embraces a more realistic and complex understanding of a region that has been inhabited and altered by people for tens of thousands of years.

In this lively narrative Dant discusses the key events and topics in the environmental history of the American West, from the Beringia migration, Columbian Exchange, and federal territorial acquisition to post–World War II expansion, resource exploitation, and current climate change issues. Losing Eden is structured around three important themes: balancing economic success and ecological destruction, creating and protecting public lands, and achieving sustainability.

This revised and updated edition incorporates the latest science and thinking. It also features a new chapter on climate change in the American West, a larger reflection on the region’s multicultural history and updated current events. Cohesive and compelling, Losing Eden recognizes the central role of the natural world in the history of the American West and provides important analysis on the continually evolving relationship between the land and its inhabitants.

Critic reviews:

This is a penetrating take on the complicated ways that humans impact their environs.” (Publishers Weekly)

Essential read for anyone who cares about the past and future American West.” (Ken Burns, filmmaker)

An environmental masterpiece…a brilliant book…Highly recommended!” (Douglas Brinkley, Rice University)


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