The First American Adventure…
Author: Doug Peacock
It may have been the greatest adventure in human history. Traveling from eastern Asia, following the last great ice age, courageous bands of modern humans found two massive uninhabited continents for the taking. Upon their arrival, ten to twenty thousand years ago, the land was full of fearsome new predators like the saber-tooth cat, the American lion and the short-faced bear – standing at 15 feet tall, the largest terrestrial predator in Earth’s history. There were also plenty of other strange creatures, like five ton ground sloths, giant mammoths and mastodons, even a 350 pound species of beaver. While the reality of human colonization of the Americas is not in dispute, the details are anything but clear, given the paucity of archeological data. Inspired by the image of intrepid human hunters facing this daunting challenge with nothing but their wits, writer and naturalist Doug Peacock has contributed In the Shadow of the Sabertooth, his personal take on these prehistoric exploits.
Peacock’s own life is also quite the adventure. Serving as a Green Beret combat medic during the Vietnam War, he returned and sought solace in the isolation of American West, spending time in close contact with numerous grizzly bears, eventually writing about the experience in Grizzly Years(1990), a book that moved me many years ago. Despite his lack of formal training, he has gone on to become one of the world’s foremost grizzly experts, sometimes branching out to explore the lives of other large predators – polar bears, Siberian tigers, Alaskan brown bears. It’s this personal and unique passion that he brings to his writing that prompted me to grab this book. I was not disappointed.