God, what a jaw!
how many animals
have been crushed by it!
the first decades of the American republic, the Founding Fathers made
the mastodon a symbol of the new nation's conquering spirit. Long
before dinosaurs were discovered, American patriots imagined this
majestic Ice Age creature to be a ferocious carnivore that devoured
buffalo, deer and elk.
myth of the mastodon is the subject of Paul Semonin's American
Monster, a lively non-fiction narrative that appeals
to general readers and scholars alike.
the discovery of a giant tooth on the banks of the Hudson River in
1705 to the exhumation of the first complete skeleton nearly a century
later, the mystery of the mastodon unfolds like a detective story.
By the time the great beast's identity is finally revealed, the Founding
Fathers have made the animal a symbol of dominance in the new republic.
an "epic adventure story" by the Boston Globe, American
Monster explores the religious beliefs, scientific
ideas, political philosophy and Indian legends that led the Founding
Fathers to create a natural history myth that still shapes the way
we view prehistoric nature today.
reviewers have noted, American Monster reveals
the historical roots of our current fascination with monstrous carnivores.
The author challenges the idea that there were "ruling species"
in prehistoric nature, a common assumption today in both science and
READ AMERICAN MONSTER
Discover the curious link
between patriotism and prehistoric nature
© 2003 Paul Semonin