“America From the Air” comes as a heaven-sent corrective: I urge you to buy it. I think it might, quite possibly, be the best book I have ever read.…
Forget Erasmus or Diderot: Mathews and Jackson are the true encyclopedists of our era. Even if all our knowledge were lost to us, and humanity were left, a hobo with shopping cart, trudging through a benighted post-apocalyptic world, a single copy of “America From the Air” would prove sufficient to resurrect the entire civilization, from Paris Hilton to Paris, Texas.
…they juxtapose dry descriptions of metamorphic rocks, billions of years old, with juicy asides concerning the recent depredations of humanity. Transcontinental bike races, canal dredging, hog husbandry, mine tailings, the Stone Mountain statues of Confederate generals, Pogo the possum, the “Buffalo Commons,” hogbacks, cliff dwellings, volcanology, karst erosion, longshore drift, L’Enfant’s urban planning, pinyon pine reseeding — is there any phenomenon large or small, old or young, natural or man-made, that cannot be captured within the authors’ rubric?
—English novelist Will Self, in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, 12/16/07
Rocky Mountain Natural History: A field guide for those who go afield in fear of guides, this 656-page tome is by turns hilarious, stern, ominous, playful, instructive, instructed, and is more linguistically alive (“Sphagnum species specialize”) than any member of the field guide family I’ve ever encountered.
—Montana poet Chris Dombrowski, writing in Orion Author Reading Lists
Daniel Mathews holds a B.A. in literature from Reed College (1970). When he first began writing a book, he took a job in a French restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Over the next 17 years he worked almost every position in the restaurant, from dishwasher up to executive chef. Once his first book was out, he focused more on natural history and on raising a family. In addition to books, he wrote interpretive signs for nature parks and worked as a naturalist-guide on cruise ships and on backpacking trip seminars organized by the North Cascades Institute. During two summers he served as fire lookout at Desolation Peak, the post once held by Jack Kerouac.
Published book-length work:
Northwest and Rocky Mountain Trees and Shrubs (an app for iPhone, 2011, Raven Editions with EarthRover Software)
Northwest Mountain Wildflowers (an app for iPhone, 2010, Raven/EarthRover)
National Wildlife Society Field Guide to Trees of North America (second-listed author). (2008, Sterling)
America From the Air: a Guide to the Landscape Along Your Route (with James S. Jackson). (2007, Houghton Mifflin)
Rocky Mountain Natural History: Grand Teton to Jasper (2003, Raven Editions)
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Rocky Mountain States (contributing
author). (1999, Knopf)
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest (contributing author). (1998, Knopf)
Cascade-Olympic Natural History: a Trailside Reference (2nd Ed. 1999, 1st Ed.
1988, Raven Editions)
See my profile in LinkedIn.