Books

In the Shadow of the Sabertooth:
A Renegade Naturalist Considers Global Warming, the First Americans and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene

In the Shadow of the SabertoothIn the Shadow of the Sabertooth tells the world’s greatest adventure story. The colonization of North America by the Clovis and earlier people 13,000 to 15,000 years ago has been shrouded in mystery and conjecture. Our guide and author Doug Peacock takes readers into the exciting world of archaeology and paleontological inquiry to dissect and analyze the lessons these early Americans left for us. Readers are transported into the world of ice-age hunters battling giant predators, crossing raging rivers, and exploring a brand new wilderness.

In this narrative-based study, Doug Peacock moves through his own history as an archeological and outdoor explorer to show what can we learn from our forebears who lived in a brutal climate. As we enter into another round of violent and terrifying climate change, the stories of those who survived in such a challenging environment become more vital than ever.

Changing weather patterns hastened the emergence and disappearance of Clovis peoples, as well as the extinction of most North American megafauna. While this ancient tale is but a distant parable of 21st century global warming, the specter of climate change is the mammoth in the room of this book--the beast of our time.

This challenging, sometimes irreverent book is available from AK Press. (June 2013).

Watch the trailer for In the Shadow of the Sabertooth here.
Read reviews from Amazon, Good Reads, Reader's Lane, and the Science Advisory Board.
Interview: Access Utah, Utah NPR, 10/22/13
Doug Peacock Looks into The Shadow of the Sabertooth, The Write Question, Montana Public Radio, 10/24/13

 

The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears 

The Essential GrizzlyIn The Essential Grizzly Doug and Andrea Peacock argue that the conservation of big, wild, sometimes dangerous animals is of absolute importance to modern humans, to the survival of our own species, and for rational thought. Together the authors delve into the complex dynamics that characterize modern bonds between people and the great bear. They explore a wide range of human-grizzly encounters through interviews with biologists, mauling victims, hunters and photographers who have had close contact with bears.

“In this riveting work, the Peacocks convincingly show how America’s greatest carnivore connects Americans to their culture, their history, their humanity, and the values we most treasure.” —Robert R. Kennedy, Jr.

“No one has ever explored so deeply and so beautifully the heart and soul of the matter—the intricate life force of our own species’ complicated and, in many ways, tragic relationship with this grand predator. Peacock and his wife Andrea have written the definitive book on the subject.” —Jim Fergus, One Thousand White Women and The Wild Girl

“Doug Peacock has taught me a lot about how to deal with the wily griz—be humble, talk to him respectfully, and don’t sing country western. The Peacocks’ new book is an essential read for anyone who wants to get into the mind of these alpha predators.” —Yvon Chouinard, owner of Patagonia.

Reprinted with limited revisions as In the Presence of Grizzlies (The Lyons Press, 2009). 

 

 

Walking It Off:  A Veteran's Chronicle of War and Wilderness

Walking It Off by Doug Peacock

Grappling with the death of his friend Edward Abbey and an enduring case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Peacock walks the deserts of the American southwest, the valleys of Nepal, the mountains of the Northern Rockies, and the Central Highlands of Vietnam in an epic story of a soldier forever seeking home.

“Peacock is a direct literary descendant of Thoreau, with a few genes from Audubon and his mentor, Edward Abbey… His response to the natural world is visceral, intellectual and spiritual at the same time. In this book, he writes about it beautifully, in prose that begs comparison to the best of Peter Matthiessen… His meditations on war and wilderness are painfully apt today, with America fighting new battles abroad, led by an administration that seems to be at war with wilderness at home.” —Phil Caputo, Pulitzer Prize winner for A Rumor of War

“Doug Peacock is an iconic figure, a secular prophet in the wildass American West. His voice is important, angry, humane and unique. He’s also our best living connection to another essential American crank: the late Edward Abbey. This wonderful book tells the story of their consequential friendship, and much more.” —David Quammen, Spillover and Song of the Dodo

“I’m crazy for this book, its oxygenic prose, its fidelities. The desert’s hard to conjure, it’s so cruel and other, but Peacock’s loving and respectful comprehension of it seems complete. It takes a wild heart to be one with the wildest places and this is one big and true wild heart walking here.” —Joy Williams, Ill Nature

 

 

¡Baja!

Baja! by Doug Peacock

"Moore's brilliant color photographs and Peacock's anecdotal, journal-style narrative combine to create a memorable journal down the Baja peninsula...and, in so doing, present a stunning portrait of this timeless land." --From the jacket.

I took my first trip down the Baja peninsula before the road was paved, spending my 30th birthday watching scores of whales sound on a sea as calm as glass off Bahia de Los Angeles. Since then, I've travelled down the 800 mile long arm about eight more times, always camping, usually exploring the untrammeled wild, never much in the cities, with friends, family and my children--the last a kayak trip with my beloved son.

 The writing of the book ¡Baja! came about as a bit of an accident. Ed Abbey was supposed to write the text but couldn't because he was dead. Peter Matthiessen said he'd write an introduction if I wrote the rest. Peacock, exhausted from a week of burying Ed, got the job. 

This book is not a practical guide to the resorts. If you need a guide book for the hotels and restaurants, buy another. If you need a recipe for black chuckwalla, look no further. 

 ¡Baja! has long been out of print, and, until recently, I had trouble finding a copy for myself. It's important because it's a North American classic. A rare collaboration between Doug Peacock and his dear friend and mentor Peter Matthiessen, who later officiated a marriage for Doug and Andrea. The photography is spectacular. Check it out and see for yourself.


Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

Grizzly Years by Doug PeacockBack from his second tour as a Green Beret medic in Vietnam, Doug Peacock needed a place to regroup. War-weary, he crawled into the vastness of the Rocky Mountain wilderness, where he found another besieged veteran, the American grizzly.

For nearly twenty years, alone and unarmed, author Doug Peacock traversed the rugged mountains of Montana and Wyoming tracking the the griz. He takes us into the bear’s habitat, where we observe directly this endangered animal’s behavior, from hunting strategies, mating patterns and denning habitats to social hierarchy and methods of communication. As Peacock tracks the bears, his story turns into a thrilling narrative about the breaking down of suspicion between man and beast in the wild.

Grizzly Years was voted one of "The 100 Best Adventure Books of All Time" by National Geographic Adventure magazine. 

“Doug Peacock has written about his grizzly bears with a passionate and unguarded heart. Grizzly Years is ultimately a love story about a man who returns from war shorn of his soul, and recovers his soul through his efforts to study and protect the grandest predator on earth, Ursus horribilis. I cannot imagine that a more worthwhile book will be printed this year.” —Jim Harrison, Legends of the Fall and Dalva

“Grizzly Years is exciting natural history and, more important, a striking metaphor in its impassioned outcry against senseless waste of life on earth—human life included.” —Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country and The Snow Leopard

“Grizzly Years belongs to a genre of literature written for the soul. Doug Peacock writes with great heart, eloquence, and verve. He calls for a revolution of the spirit through an immersion in the natural world. I believe him, he is trustworthy. This book does not lie.” —Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge and Finding Beauty in a Broken World



Doug Peacock’s signed books are available for purchase from Elk River Books, which has wholesale terms for Walking It Off.
A special, limited hardcover edition of Walking It Off is available from Ken Sanders Rare Books.

Read about Doug's book on Good Reads