Craig Pittman, environmental reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, made his mark in Florida environmental history with a previous book, coauthored with Matthew Waite, about the fallacy of the “no-net-loss” policy and the unremitting destruction of the state's wetlands. With Manatee Insanity, he reaffirms a voice that should be heard. His new book is a superbly researched, highly readable, and thought-provoking study that is suitable for both a nonacademic audience and assigning in the college classroom. Indeed, undergraduates will love this book for its narrative thrust and heart-warming protagonist, and they will learn much about the politics of wildlife protection.

Pittman is primarily interested in the effectiveness of state and federal policies, including the Endangered Species Act,...

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