Gone Goose

The Remaking of an American Town in the Age of Climate Change

Braden T. Leap
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1734-3
Publication: Dec 18

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1733-6
Publication: Dec 18

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1735-0
Publication: Dec 18

270 pages
6 x 9
1 tables, 1 figs., 11 halftones

How members of a rural town in the Midwest worked to sustain their culture and community in response to climate change

Description

Sumner, MO, pop. 102, near the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, proclaims itself “The Wild Goose Capital of the World.” It even displays Maxie, the World’s largest goose: a 40-foot tall fiberglass statue with a wingspan stretching more than 60 feet. But while the 200,000 Canada geese that spent their falls and winters at Swan Lake helped generate millions of dollars for the local economy—with hunting and the annual Goose Festival—climate change, as well as environmental and land use issues, have caused the birds to disappear. The economic loss of the geese and the activities they inspired served as key building blocks in the rural identities residents had developed and treasured.

In his timely and topical book, Gone Goose, Braden Leap observes how members of this rural town adapted, reorganized, and reinvented themselves in the wake of climate change—and how they continued to cultivate respect and belonging in their community. Leap conducted interviews with residents and participated in various community events to explore how they reimagine their relationships with each other as well as their community’s relationship with the environment, even as they wish the geese would return.

Reviews

“Gone Goose provides an insightful look at an American community responding to a changing environment and the sense of loss this change engenders. Leap’s thoughtful exploration of how humans gain identity, values, and social connections as part of their relationship with the ecosystem they are part of is not only nuanced and reflective, but also moving. This is a poignant work that is worthy of attention from readers interested in the meaning of community and place, the implications of ecological change, and human-animal relationships.
Richard York, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon

“Gone Goose is a great case study about climate adaptation in unexpected communities. Leap’s work contributes to our conversations about environmental change and adaptation beyond those studies set in liberal coastal cities or developing nations aided by wealthy western governments or INGOs. The idea that communities are adapting to climate change without knowing it—and without explicitly talking about it—and still managing to retain some of the social structures they have always had, is interesting, hopeful, and saddening all at once. Leap tells this story of resilience and how communities can adapt to changing environmental conditions clearly and with passion.
Deserai Crow, Associate Professor in School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver

About the Author(s)

Braden T. Leap is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University.


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