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Take Down Flag & Feed Horses


Bill Everhardt

This is an image of book entitled Take Down the Flag and Feed the Horses by Bill Everhardt. [Image of a park ranger lowers the waving American flag]

Part memoir, part reportage, and all good reading, Take Down Flag & Feed Horses is the first volume devoted to the daily work of staff members at Yellowstone National Park. Written by a retired National Park Service historian, the book is divided into two parts, the first chronicling daily life at Yellowstone and the second detailing the savage fires that hit the park during the summer of 1988 and their aftermath. Bill Everhart lived at the park during the summer of 1978, accompanying the superintendent and his staff of rangers, naturalists, and scientists on daily rounds. His lively anecdotes and observations will lure readers farther and farther into the book--and perhaps into the park as well. He gives a gripping account of the unstoppable fires of 1988 and shows how fire, a presence in the Yellowstone ecosystem for thousands of years, ensures biological diversity. One of an elite cadre of Park Service employees who served in the system for many years, Everhart would smile knowingly at a comrade's recollection of an old-timer who left often unnecessary instructions that regularly concluded with, "Take Down Flag & Feed Horses."

His book, a gentle excursion through places and among people, will be attractive to a wide range of readers.

"The best account I've seen of the kinds of people responsible for a big national park and the challenges they face in managing it. It's a fine piece of reporting, full of engaging anecdotes and personal observations." -- Barry Mackintosh, National Park Service Bureau Historian

BILL EVERHART held jobs ranging from park historian to assistant director during his twenty-six years with the National Park Service. A recipient of the Department of the Interior's Distinguished Service Award, he is also the author of The National Park Service and coauthor of America's Historylands. He lives in Reston, Virginia.

Take Down Flag & Feed Horses is available from the University of Illinois Press (ISBN 0-252-06681-2) for $18.95 in paperback.

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