Nature author David Gessner (My Green Manifesto) didn't plan to write about the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but when he heard the Gulf called a "national sacrifice zone," Gessner had to know who and what had been sacrificed. He traveled the Gulf states in search of the story beyond "the oiled pelican": the perception of the spill as a finite crisis, solved by dispersants and a capped well.
With a journalist's attention to detail and an engaging conversational style, Gessner offers readers a walk along the stained but beautiful Gulf and the chance to hear stories and fears of the hardworking Americans BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg called "the small people." Whether he's speaking of human or dolphin culture, Gessner's passion and eloquence is irresistible as he explains that the idea of working with nature is not a political agenda but a practical ability our species is losing. Equally adept at communicating the wonders of the ocean and the far-reaching consequences of destroying a single habitat, Gessner at times paints a bleak picture but also remains hopeful that the aspects of human nature that led us to this pass will be the very aspects that save us in the long run.
If you read only one book about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill this year, it should be this one. If you plan not to read any books about it, make an exception for this blunt, funny, eye-opening quest to find the real stories behind the Gulf crisis.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***