A comprehensive, particularized examination of the treatment of wildlife in America and an equally precise scrutiny of the most likely outcomes of current practices. Without weeping or wailing, the author traces the diminution of many species from the earlier Eastern settlements through the nineteenth century western movement when, according to James Trefethen, ""The American wilderness was not only being tamed; it, almost literally, was being beaten to death."" Although some species did suffer extinction, conservationists have delayed and possibly averted the decimation of others, largely through the development of a science of wildlife management. The crisis continues for many animals, as much from hunting as from pollution of air, food, and water supplies, and for that reason the last animal singled out in the second half among ""Possible Future Victims"" is man himself. Many of-the animals featured here appear in other books, especially those of Laycock and Stoutenberg, but nowhere is there such a large number considered in such detail; that the tone remains concerned and not shrill is an achievement.