Cover Image: The Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle

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Member Reviews

While I was interested in the topic I truly believed that this book would end up being a dry read. While might still find it so I really enjoyed the wealth of information this author provided. While not only a great deal of information about the bald eagle it also goes comprehensively into the cultural impact of the bird. A great read.


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
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In THE BALD EAGLE, Jack E. Davis delivers a tour de force cultural history of the eagle and the land over which it soars. Superbly researched and studded with gems of facts, this is a read to savor. Many thanks to Norton and to Netgalley for the opportunity of the early read.
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A really excellent history book through the lens of the bald eagle. 

As someone with an interest in US history and animals, this was a must-read for me and it didn't disappoint. Full of stories from across the history of the US, all linked together by the presence of the unofficial national bird. 

Loved it.
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The Bald Eagle by Jack E. Davis is a fabulous and beyond intriguing and comprehensive nonfiction on the history of this majestic bird and its place in our American history and culture. 

I am beyond impressed with this book. The author has done an exorbitant amount of footwork and research and clearly shows his intellect and passion for the subject matter. 

I have learned so much from this book. It encompasses information on the Bald Eagle itself, but also its references from a historical aspect involving not just the American (English American) point of view, but also its historical significance within Native American cultures as well. 

We also learn the origins of its introduction into the US culture and also its reincarnations within our nation’s history, how it has evolved, and its significance and role from a contemporary standpoint in America. 

All of this information could be overwhelming and could be presented in a disjointed manner in the hands of someone less talented, however Mr. Davis is able to carefully craft a way to not only inform and educate the reader, but also to engage, enthrall, and entertain at the same time. I learned so much while reading this book, yet when I finished, I felt like it took no time at all. The way the information is presented and the pacing of the book made it feel effortless. 

I am beyond impressed and recommend this gem to anyone and everyone. 

5/5 stars enthusiastically 

Thank you NG and Liveright/W.W. Norton & Company for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. 

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 3/1/22.
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An extremely dense book and if you aren't fascinated by American history wishing solely to learn about Bald Eagles then this book is probably best avoided. Were it not for the more positive chapters towards the end of the book it would otherwise make for a difficult story to bear. I wouldn't say this book is poor it just didn't inspire me.
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First of all, thank you so much to the publisher, author, and Net Galley for providing a copy of this magnificent book in exchange for my honest review. I am in awe of what I just read. Absolutely everyone should read this book. The author provided such an extensive history of not only the bald eagle but also our nation’s history and Native American history all intertwined with this most majestic of birds. The history of the bald eagle is heartbreaking at times, but it is so necessary to understand so we can continue to help this beautiful and important animal. I especially appreciated all of the illustrations and photographs throughout this book that just truly added to the power of this gorgeous book. I highly recommend this book to everyone.  Thank you again to Net Galley, the publisher, and author for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my review. I can’t wait to purchase my own physical copy.
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Not quite what I expected, not bad at all although it was very different. It reads a bit more like a textbook than what you would expect.
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I honestly don’t think that a book can possibly be any more thorough and comprehensive on the cultural and natural history of the bald eagle than Jack E. Davis’s latest work, "The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey." 

In the very unlikely event that someone does pull off such a feat, then I still strongly doubt anyone can match the spectacular accessibility of the author’s writing. It’s a challenge enough as it is to research an extensive history on any topic. But no less difficult is presenting such histories in a way that doesn’t result in a dry information dump that either easily exhausts a reader, swamps them, or both. The balancing act is a tricky one, but Davis most definitely pulls it off in spades here. His sweeping history includes, but is not limited to, the roles of eagles in the culture and rituals of various indigenous American tribes, the long era era that the birds spent as a paradox as both treasured national symbol and loathed predatory pest, the two different times they were pushed to the brink of extinction and the measures taken to bring them back. Yet the wealth of knowledge delivered through the book’s over four hundred pages never felt overwhelming. If anything, I felt like I was able to absorb it almost effortlessly. His writing flows with both clarity and an enthusiasm for his subject material that proves wonderfully infectious. However, this passion never veers anywhere close to fawning, which given just how over the top the bald eagle’s totemic treatment can get in the US, is a relief. He grants respect to where it’s due, and withholds it from where it’s not, and has a total lack of patience for misconceptions or myths that I much appreciated. For example, a line that stood out to me early on: 

“The Founders - who disallowed women’s rights, regarded Indians as uncivilized, and held Africans and African Americans in bondage - failed to live up to their own philosophy, falsifying the freedoms embodied in their iconic bird to the benefit of white privilege.”  

I can now see how he’s earned himself a Pulitzer, amongst other awards, for his prior major work “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” (a work that has now been added to my to-read itinerary). 

With a newfound fascination for a very particular bird sparking off within, I am happy to declare this not just a fantastic work of nonfiction, but one of my favorite reads of the year.
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