“University of Florida historian Jack Davis provides a colorful, sweeping history of the Gulf of Mexico with stories about its communities, industries, estuaries, wildlife, people and politics.”
Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.
“Davis’s sweeping history of the Gulf of Mexico takes into account colorful nature, idiosyncratic human characters and economic development.”
Featured in New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2017.
Jack E. Davis hits how and makes an impact with this nonfiction novel called The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.
In his one of a kind style, which is a rich and vivid prose, Davis narrates the nature beauty and the splendor of the Gulf and how its natural landscape is being impacted by human activity and various industries we have set up such as commercial fishing, oil, shipbuilding, natural gas and tourism. These industries have been altering and engineering the environment to their benefit but we are already seeing the consequences in profound and tragic ways such as the passage of Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The effects of human activity on the Gulf of Mexico is a far larger than the Corps of Engineers levee or a BP offshore oil rig. Oh no, the history is far deeper and expands many more years. Davis reveals signs of the impact from even when the Spanish and the English first ventured within to discover a native population already in residence. These immigrants sought resources (gold and silver) and mined to find these valuable minerals along the Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas coasts.
This book reveals a tragic pattern emerge of humans being manipulating the Gulf’s natural beauty and incredible bounty, and then using these resources for survival, sustenance, amusement and profit without ensuring the sustainability of the environment.
The story of the Gulf is an ongoing one and as Davis cites, human beings are of little significance in the whole scheme of time. “We cannot destroy or control the sea, although we can diminish its gifts, and when we do, we turn away from our providence and diminish ourselves.”