Reviewed by Steve Phenicie
If you’re looking for a biography about John James Audubon, the man for whom the Audubon network is named, you’ll have many choices. One of them is by our own Gregory Nobles, a Georgia Audubon member and Master Birder and a professor emeritus of history at Georgia Tech.
Nobles admires Audubon’s contributions to art and science, but the book does not back away from the man’s shortcomings and character flaws either. “He could be more than a little loose with the truth about his own life,” Nobles notes. One of his more intriguing fabrications is a tale about going hunting with Daniel Boone, which was entirely made up, although an elderly Boone once turned him down.
Our author tells us not to take all of Audubon’s stories literally, but we should take them seriously because it tells us what kind of a man Audubon was. Nobles says he tried to provide us with a different look at Audubon than the others, taking a more topical approach. Still, I think the book might have benefited by including a timeline of Audubon’s life, particularly for those of us who haven’t read any of the others. Here are some of the facts about the man:
Audubon had nothing to do with the founding of the National Audubon Society–it came along in 1905.
Greg Nobles obviously knows his subject because this book provides a great deal of insight into Audubon’s life and is certainly worth a read. And don’t forget: The author is a member of the Georgia Audubon “home team.”
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