Joseph Cone's book, "A Common Fate: Endangered Salmon and the People of the Pacific Northwest," tells a story that combines over two hundred years of U.S. history with the prurient facts of salmon and political science. Cone, in unflinching detail, and with a flair for dramatic storytelling, chronicles the ins and outs of the on-going battle to save the Pacific Northwest salmon runs and their surrounding watersheds. The overview of the salmon issue this book provides is astounding. From all sides' viewpoints, from Gordon Reeves, a fish researcher and ecologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forestry Service in 1988, to people like Mike Draper, spokesperson for The Western Council of Industrial Workers and Antone Minthorn, council chairman of the General Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Cone weaves a tale that can be described as nothing short of sordid. Elucidating the deceptions, feints and dodges of bureaucratic interests and what motivates them as well as he does the struggles, fears, and hopes of the environmental activists, Cone shows an in depth knowledge of both salmon biology and political policy, all the while moving his story throughout Pacific Northwest and salmon history. Flashback narratives back to the very beginning of Pacific Northwest history with the arrival of James Cook, Robert Grey, on through Lewis and Clark and John Jacob Astor provide a sense of historic perspective on the abundance and exploitation of this incredible fish. Cone chronicles the wasteful days of the Hapgood & Hume canneries, where, after a day's work, if the canners couldn't keep up with supply, hundreds of fish would be shoveled back into the water, wasted. He describes the migrant cannery fishermen and the disputes between gill-netters, those who used fish traps, and the canneries themselves, the strikes and violence associated with them as everyone struggles to take all they can in a living description of human economist Garrett Hardin's essay, "The Tragedy of the Commons." He describes with harrowing precision the two steps forward, one step back dance of environmental policy, as environmentalist minded scientists cross swords with policy makers and industrial advocates, as treaties and alliances are formed and broken again and again over the same ground year after year, decade after decade. He shows again and again the complexity of the issues, the difference between conservation and preservation, and the fact that thus far, in the struggle between fish and man, man has won time and time again, and that time for the Pacific Northwest salmon is running out. Though one review on the back of the book suggests that Cone offers up cooperation as the solution to the salmon crisis, in truth, "A Common Fate" illustrates the fallacy of cooperation between the two sides of industry and environment. The evidence he presents illustrates clearly that, as the industrialists call for a "balance" to be struck, in truth, the salmon are systematically being balanced out of existence. For anyone looking for a clear, concise overview of the issues surrounding the salmon crisis in an easy to read format, this book comes highly recommended.