[UCP Books]: America's Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake

“The compelling story of a much-maligned critter. . . . Levin’s adventures with herpetologists and dedicated amateur reptile enthusiasts will enlighten and entertain; the not-so-careful work of poachers and bounty hunters will disgust. The author’s wry humor peppers the text. . . . Sensitive to the singular beauty of the snakes, Levin is also exquisitely attuned to the larger rhythms of nature, as alive to what’s singing in the trees as what’s slithering in the leaves underfoot. This book resonates with wit, love, and wonder”Library Journal, starred review


“I’m not sure I would have believed in advance that someone could write 500 fascinating pages about a single species of rattlesnake, but Ted Levin has done just that. America’s Snake is so engaging that the reading borders on effortless; the writing is masterful, inspiring non-stop interest.”–Harry Greene, author of Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature



The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake
Ted Levin


Publication date: May 10, 2016 978-0-226-04064-6
International publication date: May 24, 2016 $35.00/£24.50


“The marriage of a great writer and a great subject is always a joy to behold. And few subjects could be more iconic, or more fascinating, than Crotalus horridus, whose very name tells you that there’s a deep story to be told here.”–Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home


This book opens with an unforgettable scene: a group of people standing around in a remote mountain cabin in New England, drinking beer and raucously cheering on a man who is ever-so-carefully removing porcupine quills from the mouth of an injured timber rattlesnake.

These are Ted Levin’s people. By the end of America’s Snake, if you have even a smidgen of snake love in your heart, they’ll be your people, too.

This is a book about love—but also about fear, danger, and a long history of misunderstanding. It tells the story of the much-maligned timber rattlesnake, one of the most iconic animals in the American landscape, feared and hunted relentlessly since Pilgrim times and now the focus of  sustained—and often contentious—conservation efforts on the part of both working scientists and obsessed, dedicated amateurs. It’s a perfect blend of nature and science, culture and history, travel and journalism—a book in the tradition of a writer like John McPhee, right up to date with its science and packed with anecdotes, adventures, and wild personalities.


A former Bronx Zoo zoologist, Ted Levin is the author of a number of books and has written for Sports Illustrated, Audubon, National Wildlife, National Geographic Traveler, and other publications.



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