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A Passion for Birds : American Ornithology after Audubon - Mark Barrow

A Passion for Birds

American Ornithology after Audubon

Paperback Published: 27th February 2000
ISBN: 9780691049540
Number Of Pages: 336

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In the decades following the Civil War--as industrialization, urbanization, and economic expansion increasingly reshaped the landscape--many Americans began seeking adventure and aesthetic gratification through avian pursuits. By the turn of the century, hundreds of thousands of middle-and upper-class devotees were rushing to join Audubon societies, purchase field guides, and keep records of the species they encountered in the wild. Mark Barrow vividly reconstructs this story not only through the experiences of birdwatchers, collectors, conservationists, and taxidermists, but also through those of a relatively new breed of bird enthusiast: the technically oriented ornithologist. In exploring how ornithologists struggled to forge a discipline and profession amidst an explosion of popular interest in natural history, "A Passion for Birds" provides the first book-length history of American ornithology from the death of John James Audubon to the Second World War.

Barrow shows how efforts to form a scientific community distinct from popular birders met with only partial success. The founding of the American Ornithologists' Union in 1883 and the subsequent expansion of formal educational and employment opportunities in ornithology marked important milestones in this campaign. Yet by the middle of the twentieth century, when ornithology had finally achieved the status of a modern profession, its practitioners remained dependent on the services of birdwatchers and other amateur enthusiasts. Environmental issues also loom large in Barrow's account as he traces areas of both cooperation and conflict between ornithologists and wildlife conservationists.

Recounting a colorful story based on the interactions among a wide variety of bird-lovers, this book will interest historians of science, environmental historians, ornithologists, birdwatchers, and anyone curious about the historical roots of today's birding boom.

Industry Reviews

Winner of the 1998 Forum for the History of Science in America Book Prize One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1999 "Lively drama, complete with colorful characters, harrowing escapes, class struggles and personal triumphs... I was gripped from cover to cover by this book and gained enormous insights into my roots."--John W. Fitzpatrick, Nature "In these pages, one senses a palpable kinship between the present birding world and the generations ... who preceded us... Ironically the subject material seems altogether contemporary, as reflective of our own passion for birds as of that of our predecessors."--Ted Floyd, Birding "Barrow's entertainingly informative work mines rich veins of archive material, both scientific and lay, in order to chart the special relationship which has developed over the years between the professional ornithologist and the collector, the taxidermist, the conservationist and the amateur birdwatcher."--The Times Literary Supplement "Barrow's work provides an enormously useful guide to an impressive range of subjects in the history of science, far broader than the subject of the book itself... Highly readable..."--Jane R. Camerini, Isis "History and bird lovers alike will find A Passion for Birds by Mark V. Barrow, Jr. interesting ... with its colorful story and cast of characters."--Birder's World "Closely argued, engagingly written, punctuated with humor and insight, A Passion for Birds combines scholarship with accessibility."--Michael Edmonds, Environmental History

The Culture of Collecting
Roosevelt's Museum
The Culture of Collecting
Quantitative Dimensions
Collecting Conflicts
Desiderata: Bird Collecting and Community
Recruiting Ridgway
Early American Collections
Collecting Networks
Serial Collecting
Sporting Naturalists
Collecting and Identification Guides
Perilous Pursuits
Women Ornithologists
Forging Boundaries, Creating Occupational Space
The Gathering
The Nuttall Club
Creating the AOU
""Amateurs"" and the AOU
Forging a Profession I
Forging a Profession II
The Shufeldt Affair
Membership Redux
Nomenclatural Reform and the Quest for Standards and Stability
Disciplining Ornithology
The Geography of Species
The ""American"" Subspecies Concept
The AOU and Nomenclatural Reform
Plain English
Trinomial Woes
Embracing and Abandoning Bird Protection
Chapman's Parakeets
Discovering Extinction
Embracing Bird Protection
Grinnell's Audubon Society
Critics of Conservation
Permit Perturbations
Abandoning Bird Protection
Protecting Birds, Protecting Ornithologists
Reviving the Movement
Dutcher's Push for Protection
Redefining Ornithology
Conserve the Collector
A Crisis in Conservation
Renewing the Conservation Commitment
Birdwatchers, Scientists, and the Politics of Vision
Cooperation and Conflict
A Field Guide to Birdwatching
Constructing Observational Networks
Birdwatching, Bird Banding, and the Biological Survey
Cooperative Life-History Studies
The Problem of Sight Records
Palmer's Qualms
Reforming American Ornithology
The State of the Union
Graduate Training in Ornithology
Enter Ernst Mayr
Making Space for Nice
Reforming the AOU
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691049540
ISBN-10: 0691049548
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 27th February 2000
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.49