Book Review: Endangered Species: A Documentary and Reference Guide

Marion S. Muskiewicz


This volume details the important items in the development of the concept of endangered species, from John Locke to the current problems of the twenty-first century. Excerpts from more than fifty different significant documents appear, in roughly chronological order. The scope covers more than just endangered animals and plants, with related discussions on such items as water rights, utilitarianism, outdoor recreation, and climate change. Each chapter consists of the relevant sections of an essential document in the development of endangered species policy. Quotations from essays, actual congressional bills, speeches to Congress, executive orders and Supreme Court cases are among the featured items. Not all are easy to understand, especially the court cases, with their many case references. Each quoted item is followed by a one-page analysis explaining why the selection is considered noteworthy, as well as a brief list of further reading. Occasional “Did You Know” sidebars, briefly summarizing a particular problem that pertains to the subject of the chapter, provide clarifying information and/or examples. A small number of unindexed black and white illustrations seem to have been added as an afterthought, almost at random.

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