This book sat on my shelf for nearly a decade and I am so glad I finally cracked it. Manning explores North America's most misunderstood, maligned and ravaged ecosystem by turns, starting with long (geologic) and then short (after people arrived) history and how the humans who lived in the prairie regions have irrevocably transformed it by the way they've chosen to live there, starting with (possibly) the extinction of the woolly mammoths and other large predatory game around the time the glaciers receded. Each chapter looks at the prairie through a different perspective and usually the lens of a different discipline. I've lived in this region and loved it for more than 15 years but this book still turned my understanding of so many things on its head. A great, engaging read and an important book.