The intimate, involving story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the fabled Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her. For readers of H is for Hawk, captivating works of reportage, and iconic books on the American West.
Before humans ruled the Earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in the United States, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves from Canada back to Yellowstone National Park, igniting a battle over the very soul of the American West. With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, a charismatic alpha female named O-Six. She’s a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. Beloved by wolf watchers, particularly Yellowstone park ranger Rick McIntyre, O-Six becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world. But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is being challenged on all fronts: by hunters and their professional guides, who compete with wolves for the elk they all prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who resent her dominance of the stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley. These forces collide in The Wolf, a riveting multigenerational wildlife saga that tells a larger story about the clash of values in the West–between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most vibrant landscapes.