by John & Ann Mahan


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What the REVIEWS are Saying about

"The reverence of the authors/photographers for Lake Superior bursts from the pages of their new book...Although the Mahans' beautiful color photographs are generously peppered throughout these pages, there's plenty of text to absorb the reader as they describe the rich human and natural history of the region."

"...a sweeping limnology of the greatest of the Great Lakes... Never shying away from complex natural science or environmental controversy, the Mahans punctuate a full story of Superior's lore and fragile ecosystem with their stunning photographs of its majesty. For anyone planning to visit the region this summer, Lake Superior offers an antidote to the puffy stuff preferred by tourism bureaus."

"...stunning, full color photography and beautifully written text...a journey of the spirit told through words and photographs....This book is really about universal themes that happen to play out within this place."

"Through carefully documented research and first person observations rich in descriptive detail, they reveal that each species dwelling in the lake and each component of the surrounding forest plays a vital role in the area’s overall well-being....In Lake Superior: Story and Spirit, John and Ann Mahan provide eloquent insight into a diverse and engaging ecosystem."

"There are many good books to choose from out there, but once in a great while a truly extraordinary book comes along. Lake Superior: Story and Spirit is that extraordinary book, and it would be no exaggeration to say that anyone interested in the Great Lakes, or in the Earth’s few remaining wild places, will find it to be a deeply stirring, eye-opening experience and one that is well worth the price of admission."
--Heather Freckmann, LAKE SAILOR

"Lake Superior: Story and Spirit is extensively researched, gracefully written, and beautifully illustrated--all in all, one of the most impressive and enjoyable books I've come across in a long time. I can’t recommend it highly enough."
--Dr. Rick Sullivan, Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Study, THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS

"...crammed with content…magnificent photographs...the writing delivers to the reader a comprehensive look at the subject....After reading the book, it’s almost impossible not to contemplate the possibility of visiting the area and sampling the beauty and the solitude now available around Lake Superior. If travel to the area isn’t possible then Lake Superior: Story and Spirit is the absolute next best thing."

"This is a huge book. Not just because it has nearly 300 pages of readable, informative and fascinating text and 140 stunning photos, but also because this is one of the few published attempts to explore the spiritual significance of Lake Superior....It is a grand textbook of geology, ecology, human history and mystery."
--Anne Paine Williams, NORTH LIFE MAGAZINE

"Lake Superior: Story and the first comprehensive book about the lake and all its lake stories, from natural history to human history and, importantly, how those two have interwoven over the years...This is a groundbreaking book, in that it looks at the whole picture, not limited by geographic or conceptual boundaries."
--Andrew Slade, Director of Education, CURRENTS (Great Lakes Aquarium at Lake Superior Center)

"...a seamless compelling a read as a suspense novel....Lake Superior: Story and Spirit is something that comes along only rarely: a movingly written and beautifully illustrated description about a lake and its people, over the centuries. For an engrossing perspective of Lake Superior, I can't think of a better book; this is wonderful."
--Linda Turk, THE CHRONICLE JOURNAL, Thunder Bay

"The text is marvelous!...To read it is to be there....I don't think I have seen better, more inviting, more majestic photography of this lake anywhere, anytime. No Great Lakes book collection is complete without this one!"

"If you can have only one book about the great lake, it should be this informative and beautiful combination of text and photos."
--Mary Ann Grossman, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS

"The 140 beautiful color photographs in capture the ecological, geologic, and cultural diversity of the greatest Great Lake. The accompanying narrative is a compelling and detailed look at the delicate balance between the natural beauty of this stunning inland sea and the sometimes conflicting human interests that coexist with it. The Mahans...approach Lake Superior with passion and comprehension."

"Featuring 140 bright colorful photos in 288 pages, the authors have created a book that reviewers have praised as one of the most poetic, authoritative texts on Lake Superior...the book blends the Mahans' personal passion for the big lake with artistic insights and scientific understanding of its ecology. While it may serve as a coffee table book for some, others will be captivated by its text and find they cannot put it down."

"This is a stunning book, designed to delight the eye and nourish the spirit. Painfully researched, evocatively written, and lavishly illustrated with color art...I recommend it highly."

"It's a monumental work, the product of six years of intense writing and decades of travel and research...Many people will buy this for a coffee-table book. But it goes light years beyond pretty pictures...The Mahans have captured the real essence--the true spirit--of this fascinating and beautiful corner of the world...worth every penny."

"The Mahans' text is alternately poetic and academic, skipping deftly between these extremes...The research skills and careful thought put into the book show clearly in its well-articulated presentation of the complex interrelationships between humans and the environment. Lake Superior: Story and Spirit is a work of tremendous scope, bringing an expansive view to one of the world's most incredible resources."
--Kyle E. Eller, SKYWORLD, Duluth

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--Great Lakes
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Story and Spirit


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Lake Superior:
Story and Spirit

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What the EXPERTS are Saying about

"The Mahans, looking into the clear water from their kayak or from a trail overlooking the lake, have portrayed in rich verbal and photographic imagery the patterns and interconnections of matter, life, and mind in the basin of Lake Superior....Like the intricately sculptured channels that carry water to the lake, the authors' poetic prose and dazzling photographs draw the mind of the reader into the continuous flow of their text. Jump in for a swim on any page and chances are that you will emerge downstream refreshed and eager for more. As an ecologist, trained to the scientific world of facts and statistics, I have been enlivened by this book as I was by the Mahans' earlier portrayal of Wild Lake Michigan. Every plant, animal, and rock passingly cited in the text takes on a personal meaning, each with its own unique color, form, and fragrance. The authors have described in a gorgeous blend of personal passion, artistic insight, and scientific understanding what it means to be a living, breathing part of one of the most beautiful ecosystems on Earth."
--Dr. Jack Vallentyne, Internationally renowned Freshwater Ecologist and Founding Member of the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission

"A lyrical and evocative book that artfully combines the cultural and natural history of our North Woods lakes and forests. The Mahans weave valuable ecological and historical lessons into the rich tapestry of their narrative. We travel with them up lichen-bedecked tree trunks, down into the myriad mycorrhizal connections underground, and back in time past waves of glacial advance into the early history of life itself. The authors especially succeed in connecting natural science with social history...No other book combines so much fascinating information about the region, or expresses more clearly or forcefully the historical and contemporary dilemmas we face in determining its future."
--Dr. Donald Waller, Coauthor of Wild Forests: Conservation Biology and Public Policy, and Professor of Botany and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"In this wide ranging exploration of Lake Superior, the Mahans have skillfully blended the tumultuous geological history of the lake bed with the story of evolution of Earth’s life and atmosphere, and an absorbing account of the region’s natural resources, minerals, forests and water. Perhaps most importantly they communicate the sense of joy and awe that they have found in telling the story and pursuing the spirit of the greatest of the Great Lakes."
--Dr. Grant M. Young, Professor of Geology, The University of Western Ontario

"The best volume written on Lake Superior. You can feel the cold spray on your face and taste the fear in your throat. The book is a grabber."
--Frederick Stonehouse, Great Lakes historian and author

"Lake Superior: Story and Spirit strikes me as a rich narrative, bringing all the culture and earth that is Superior into one interwoven text. I enjoyed its 'fabric' like I enjoy the fabric of the family quilt--strong, full of history, and warm to those who wrap themselves within its covers."
--Andrew Savagian, Sierra Club Lake Superior Project

"From Superior's geologic birth to its human-altered state, the Mahans present the story of the lake with fascinating interconnections. The future of Superior depends upon our understanding how our actions cumulatively affect the lake. To this end, the Mahans have done a tremendous service in bringing together a wealth of well-researched information. This book should be required reading by every decision-maker and stakeholder in the Lake Superior basin.”
--Craig Blacklock, Photographer of The Lake Superior Images

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© John & Ann Mahan.
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Note: All images on this web site are copyrighted. It is illegal to take them off our web site--for any use, without our written permission.

Click here for ordering information
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All images Copyright © John & Ann Mahan.
All rights reserved.