Warren, Louis S.
Warren, Louis S.
CAREER: Educator and writer. University of California, Davis, professor of history.
(Editor) American Environmental History, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and educator Louis S. Warren focuses his studies on American history. His first book, The Hunter's Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America, is about the struggle between hunters and conservationists throughout American history, beginning in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The book touches on the origins of these viewpoints, the history of game law lobbyists, and the extensions of these early struggles that are found in modern-day life. Keith Schneider, writing in the New York Times Book Review, noted that Warren includes "competently drawn reports of the nasty fights between government agents and hunters," and felt that the author "successfully" presents his arguments.
Several years after the release of The Hunter's Game, Warren edited the book American Environmental History. This volume is an anthology of articles and primary source materials regarding the environmental history of America from before the arrival of Christopher Columbus through the present. Various topics are covered, including the changes Native Americans made to the landscape prior to the arrival of Columbus, the role of class in the creation of the earliest national forests, and the origins of modern environmentalism. History: Review of Books contributor Bryant Etheridge felt that the author "has created an anthology of considerable geographic and, to a lesser degree, methodological diversity" with his selection of the included works. Etheridge summed up the work as "a worthwhile entrant to a field with few competitors."
In 2005 Warren turned his sights to the life and times of William Cody, more commonly known as "Buffalo Bill." Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show is a comprehensive biography of the showman, following his life from his early work as a Pony Express rider through his experience as a frontiersman running his Wild West Show. Critical response to the book was mostly favorable. Library Journal critic Clay Williams observed that rather than writing just a simple biography, Warren "analyzes the cultures of the eastern United States and Europe and their relationship with that of America's West." Jay Freeman, writing in Booklist, agreed, praising the "outstanding examination" of Cody found in this "engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable" volume. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that "Warren seeks metaphor and symbolism everywhere and is remarkably inventive in finding them"; the critic went on to state that the book has the ability to "both entertain and instruct." New York Times Book Review contributor Geoffrey C. Ward agreed with the positive assessments, concluding that "Buffalo Bill's America is a provocative contribution to the long-running argument over just who Buffalo Bill was and what he and his frontier extravaganza can tell us about who we were—and who we are."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2005, Jay Freeman, review of Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show, p. 23.
History: Review of New Books, spring, 2004, Bryant Etheridge, review of American Environmental History, p. 93.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of Buffalo Bill's America, p. 839.
Library Journal, September 15, 2005, Clay Williams, review of Buffalo Bill's America, p. 76.
New York Times Book Review, November 23, 1997, Keith Schneider, "Whose Outdoors?," review of The Hunter's Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America, p. 26; December 11, 2005, Geoffrey C. Ward, "Showman of the Wild Frontier," review of Buffalo Bill's America, p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, August 1, 2005, review of Buffalo Bill's America, p. 54.
University of California, Davis, History Department Web site, http://history.ucdavis.edu/ (May 2, 2006), brief information about author.