Mountains of the Heart



Mountains of the Heart:

A Natural History of the Appalachians: 20th Anniversary Edition

Fulcrum Publishing

ISBN: 9781938486883

Revised second edition: 2016

316 pages

   Stretching almost unbroken from the hills of north Alabama to a lonely, subarctic island off the northern coast of Newfoundland, the Appalachians are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, and among the most fascinating. In Mountains of the Heart, first published in 1994, Scott Weidensaul showed how geology, ecology, climate, evolution and more than 10,000 years of human history have shaped one of the continent's greatest landscape features into an ecosystem of unmatched diversity and beauty. 

Now, Weidensaul has fully revised and expanded the original book to explore how the past two decades have changed this ancient range for better and worse. Part science, part poetry, it tracks a mountain range of breathtaking scope, from the moist, fertile cove forests of the southern Appalachians, debecked with wildflowers and home to one of the most diverse temperate faunas in the world, to the cold, boreal north, where caribou, seabirds and even a few polar bears roam. In between, Mountains of the Heart traces the long, sinuous line of this fabled mountain system, and the long interaction between nature and humanity that has made it what it is today.

Ted Williams, conservation editor for Audubon magazine, called it "the sort of book yearned for by all who cherish wild things and wild places," and syndicated nature columnist Scott Shalaway called Mountains of the Heart "a fascinating blend of geology, geography, biology and ecology by a gifted naturalist and writer. If you buy one nature book this year, make it this one."