America's most familiar bear has been the subject of considerable research in the past decade, and Ford adds interest to this up-to-date report with references to the studies and the people making them. In some cases she has interviewed the researchers and gone along on their rounds. Incomparably more substantial than the Grahams' Bears in the Wild (p. 634, J-142), this also provides a closer look at black bear physiology and habits than does Patent's more general Bears of the World (1980). The survival benefits of delayed implantation, a peculiarity of black bear pregnancy; the role of ear position in communication; and the remarkable feats of black bear hibernation are examples of the topics covered with ease, economy, and attention to detail. Without sensationalism, Ford also awards due attention to the interaction between bears and people, beginning with American Indian beliefs and rituals and ending with present and future bear management in our national parks.