Books That Inspire 2008


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The Western Range Revisited: Removing Livestock from Public Lands to Conserve Native Biodiversity
Debra L. Donahue


This little book stirred up a great deal of commotion. Donahue, a law professor, reassessed livestock grazing on public lands and came to a radical conclusion: end it completely. Commercial grazing, she wrote, had no place on public lands and was a wasteful corporate subsidy. A political stampede ensued. One Wyoming gubernatorial candidate called her idea “garbage” but admitted he hadn’t read the book. The president of the state senate threatened to shut down the University of Wyoming’s law school—Donahue’s employer. Whether or not one agrees with Donahue’s thesis—and, for the record, I do not—the publication of this book was a brave move in the name of academic freedom. The marketplace of ideas should always be open for business.


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Jay R Dew
Acquisitions Editor
University of Oklahoma Press