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Book Title: American Hippopotamus|
The author of the book: Jon Mooallem
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Reader ratings: 7.8
Edition: The Atavist
Date of issue: December 17th 2013
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 757 KB
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In 1910, the United States—its population exploding, its frontier all but exhausted—was in the throes of a serious meat shortage. But a small and industrious group of thinkers stepped forward with an answer, a bold idea being endorsed by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and The New York Times. Their plan: to import hippopotamuses to the swamps of Louisiana and convince Americans to eat them.
The only thing stranger than the hippo idea itself was the partnership promoting it. At its center were two hard-bitten spies: Frederick Russell Burnham, a superhumanly competent frontiersman, freelance adventurer, and fervent optimist about America’s future—Burnham would be the inspiration for both the Boy Scouts and Indiana Jones—and Fritz Duquesne, a.k.a. the Black Panther, a virtuoso con man and cynical saboteur who believed only in his own glorification and revenge. Burnham and Duquesne had very recently been sworn enemies under orders to assassinate each other. They’d soon be enemies again. But for one brief and shining moment they joined behind a common cause: transforming America into a nation of hippopotamus ranchers.
In American Hippopotamus, Jon Mooallem brings to life a historical saga too preposterous to be fiction—a bracing and eccentric epic of espionage and hippos, but also of a conflicted nation on the threshold of a bewildering new century, deciding what kind of country it would be, and what beasts it would eat.
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Read information about the authorJon Mooallem is the author of WILD ONES: A Sometimes Dismaying Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America, and AMERICAN HIPPOPOTAMUS, which was recently optioned by Brett Ratner and Edward Norton. He recently toured with the folk band Black Prairie, doing a show of live-orchestrated stories from WILD ONES. (You can hear it here.)
He has been a Contributing Writer to the New York Times Magazine since 2006, and is writer-at-large for Pop-Up Magazine, the live magazine presented on stage in San Francisco. He's also contributed to The New Yorker, Wired, This American Life, Radiolab and many other magazines and radio shows.
For example, he recently wrote about crazy ants taking over Texas. Two other recent favorites are here and here. Once, he investigated mysterious monk seal murders in Hawaii for a cover story for the New York Times Magazine. This one's about a monkey on the loose in Florida. And this one's about power outages caused by squirrels. For a time, I wrote a weekly column for Wired called THIS WEEK IN WILD ANIMALS. Thought leaders: you can not afford to miss this important column.
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