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Nate Blakeslee Books In Order

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

 
Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Nate Blakeslee is a born and raised Texan author best known for the writing of Texan stories in his two novels “American Wolf” and “Tulia”. Nate was born in Arlignton and went to the University of Texas where he got his America Studies masters majoring in the Civil Rights movement. Blakeslee spent much of his early adult life in the Northern Rockies, where together with his friends from college he worked summer job in Jackson. He has asserted his time in Jackson, Wyoming as some of the most fun in his life and as such, he is always looking forward to visiting the city whenever he can. “American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West” is his most popular novel though he debuted his writing career with “Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town” that was first published in 2005. He had first met Rick McIntyre in 2007 while he was undertaking a wolf watching class at the Yellowstone National Park. He had become interested in wolves but it was not until he heard of the alpha female wolf O-Six, that he decided to actively learn and write about wolves. He currently lives in Austin Texas with his wife and children.

Nate Blakeslee works as the senior editor for the Texas Monthly, where he has been working since 2006. However, his writing career had started years earlier when he wrote an award-winning year 2000 story about police corruption, that was very prevalent in the Texas Panhandle. His reporting on the story is directly responsible for the overhaul of the Texan drug enforcement agencies and the freedom of several wrongly held suspects. His 2005 novel “Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town” was largely based on his investigations into the story. The book made it into several best book lists including the New York Times’ Notable Book of 2005. The novel made the shortlist for the Martha/PEN Albrand Award for nonfiction, and was the winner of the best nonfiction book prize by the Texas Institute of Letters, and the J. Anthony Lukas award.

“American Wolf” is a novel that Barkslee published in 2017 to much critical acclaim. It is a story about wolves in general and people who hate and love them, and in particular about O-six, the popular and famous Yellowstone wolf. Blakeslee compiles the voices of politicians, lawyers, ranchers, hunters, conservationists, and biologists in writing an objective narrative of the fight for belonging and defining the wild of the American West. The novel has often been called an Anthony Lucas nonfiction as it has a film like feel even as it is a book. In “American Wolf” Blakeslee investigated the controversial reintroduction of wolves into the Rockies by following the life and times of O-six, a beloved mother and charismatic alpha wolf. Wolves had once been abundant in the American wild but by the 1920s most of them had been hunted to near extinction in most states of the US. But conservationists have been involved in a quest to bring back the icon of the Wild West in recent times, bringing to the fore a battle between those that hate and those that love them. The lead in the novel is O-Six, a doting mother, intelligent fighter, merciful, and kind leader that is much much-loved by world watchers. But even as she is loved it is not easy for her as she has to deal with rival wolf packs in Yellowstone, ranchers that see wolves as vermin, and hunters who compete with her for elk meat. The forces collide in a story about triumph and hardship, a struggle for restoring iconic landscapes versus those fighting for a vanishing way of life that lasts generations.

“American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West” is a story about a wolf reclamation project featuring a wolf named O-Six under the care of McIntyre. The ranchers sees the wolves as pests that will attack their cattle and threaten their age-old way of life. The hunters sees the wolves as competition for elk as more wolves means less elk on the plains for them to hunt. Wolf lovers would like the wolves to have free rein in Yellowstone though they do not have much to lose. It is an interesting story about the struggle for dominance from both sides that Nate Blakeslee tries as much as possible to tell without any bias though he certainly does favor the wolves. A fearless female known as O-Six would strike out on her own to establish her own pack. The pack is soon a target of rival parks looking to get their highly prized territory. Much of the novel is about which pack is dominant, which pack is fighting another, and the fight to survive a world full of natural and man-made dangers. It is quite interesting to read about how a pack could be extinguished by an attack from a stronger pack or the death of an alpha female or male. O-Six manages to outwit and outrun many of the dangers in a story of heroism and courage besting villainy, ignorance getting beaten by reason, and hope over despair.

“Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town” is a novel set in the small town of Tulia where in 1999 thirty-nine suspects had been arrested for selling cocaine. The federally funded operation that had been undertaken with the help of local law enforcement had been made possible by the work of an undercover officer that had a reputation for being notoriously unreliable. Tom Coleman had provided the prosecution with most of the contradictory and uncorroborated evidence they relied on when presenting their case in court. However, even as most of the evidence was flimsy, most of the suspects were found guilty and sentenced to lengthy sentences in prison. The Texas Lawman of the year award was presented to Coleman leading to much outrage, particularly among the African American community. Tulia tells the narrative of the heroic battle, the trial, the bust and the story of the small town including the eventual overturning of the 2003 convictions of over thirty suspects. The defendants got out to clear and redeem their names, while the Texas law courts and the legal system were overhauled as a result of the case. However, the case is bigger than just a drug bust that showcased corruption of the police department. Rather, it is a story of desperation, hysteria, poverty. Race, and injustice of rural America.

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