Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest (Paperback)
These are the genesis stories of a region. In Ancient Places, Jack Nisbet uncovers touchstones across the Pacific Northwest that reveal the symbiotic relationship of people and place in this corner of the world. From rural Oregon, where a controversy brewed over the provenance and ownership of a meteor, to the great floods 15,000 years ago that shaped what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, this is a compelling collection of stories about the natural and human history of our region.
About the Author
JACK NISBET is a historian, teacher, and author focusing on the intersection of human history and natural history in the Pacific Northwest. His books include Sources of the River (recipient of the Washington Governor's Award and winner of the Murray Morgan Prize from the Washington State Historical Society), The Mapmaker's Eye (named one of The Best Nonfiction Books of the Year by The Seattle Times), The Collector (a Pacific Northwest Book Award winner), The Dreamer and The Doctor, and Visible Bones. He lives in Spokane, Washington.
I can think of no better guide to this corner of the west than the lyrical naturalist Jack Nisbet, whose latest, Ancient Places, is a fascinating read.
—Jess Walter, author of We Live in Water
Jack Nisbet peels back the landscapes of the Northwest to uncover layers of meaning in unexpected places. He encourages us to look with a new, but also eons-old, light on mountains and rivers, traditional cultures and more recent settlers.
—Peter Stark, author of Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire
Master historian Nisbet has communed with Indians, astronauts, miners, and scientists to reveal a wonderfully personal, engaging, and authoritative picture of the cultural and natural history of the Inland Northwest.
—John Marzluff, author of Welcome to Subirdia and Gifts of the Crow
In Ancient Places, author Jack Nisbet masterfully illuminates the lively chemistry that exists between people, their history, and the landscape of the Pacific Northwest.
—Marcy Houle, author of The Prairie Keepers
Through a half-dozen or more books, Jack Nisbet has shown himself to be an astute interpreter of Pacific Northwest history, an insightful naturalist and an excellent storyteller . . . [Nisbet has] a scientist’s curiosity, an artist’s eye for detail and a writer’s sense of what shapes a good story.
—The Seattle Times
Through Nisbet's eyes, there's wonder all around us . . . Aristotle nailed it: All those tiny motes do add up to something truly marvelous.
Spokane-based writer Jack Nisbet is a treasure for anyone interested in the ways natural history, landscape and human cultures intersect in the Pacific Northwest.
In his books about David Thompson and David Douglas, the author did extensive research into the written records left by these early settlers. In Ancient Places, Nisbet correlates modern science with the journals of early fur traders, terra-cotta brick makers, collectors, and native peoples. The reader gains knowledge of museums, plants, ants, huckleberries and lucky kicks that unravel mysteries and secrets held in the landscape.
—Mountain West News
Nisbet, a teacher, shares the rich history of the Pacific Northwest through stories on the area’s geography, topography and biology, not to mention its people and their relationship with the land. —Stanford Magazine
“Ancient Places shows Nisbet at his finest, revealing his unique abilities to see and observe, to write and articulate, and most of all to convey the essence of place.”
—Rain Taxi Reviews
"The Pacific Northwest's leading historian picks through his cabinet of literary curiosities to tell great tales about its nature and ancient peoples."