Author Archives: jimcarrier

Riveting hurricane books – read or listen.

The new hurricane season has once again focused our attention on hurricanes, their origins, their forecasts, and their awesome power.

Two of the most recent destructive storms – Mitch and Katrina – are detailed in books by Jim Carrier. They are available for instant downloading, listening on Audible, or reading on most e-Book platforms. Charity is also available in paperback. See links below.

The Ship and The Storm, described as “unequivocally THE BEST storm narrative” (Wendy Mitman Clarke), and “Utterly compulsive and unputdownable – the most exciting, authentic and humanly moving of all the recent storm books.” (Jonathon Raban), details the birth and deaths of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Masterfully moving between the crew on deck of a doomed cruise ship and the forecasters of the National Hurricane Center, the book follows the path of the most destructive hurricane in the Western Hemisphere. It can be purchased as an eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Books and Kobo. Or listen to the new audio book on Audible.

Charity – the Heroic and Heartbreaking Story of Charity Hospital in Hurricane Katrina, is a remarkably concise drama of tragedy and heroism. “In a dying city and dying hospital…as if struck by angels, people walked out of Charity changed.” The author and his wife lost their home in Katrina, but returned to New Orleans — she to teach, and he to interview doctors, nurses, patients and staff. The story can be purchased as a paperback book or eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google Books.

NEW, from Black Stone Publishing, an unabridged reading of Jim Carrier’s riveting book. Twelve hours of audio, available in a 10-CD pack, or download from Audible. Read by actor Robertson Dean.

“Utterly compulsive and unputdownable–the most exciting, authentic, and humanly moving of all the recent Storm books. Brilliantly paced and perfectly balanced. . . . Carrier is a marvelously trustworthy narrator. . . . A terrific book.”–Jonathan Raban, author of Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings and Bad Land: An American Romance

Audible download is $24.47, or free with Audible trial. The CD pack is listed at $34.95.

A Traveler’s Guide to the Civil Rights Movement

The most complete guide to civil rights sites, by Jim Carrier, was published in 2004. The kickoff “party” was held at the Library of Congress. Carrier presented a sampling of the sites, with a slide show, and a Q&A.

C-Span recorded the presentation. You can watch it here:

The book, with a forward by Rep. John Lewis, is available in paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite book store.

The Cost of War

This five-minute documentary, shot in one unedited camera movement, captures the death toll of America’s longest war – the War on Terror.

Filmmakers Jim Carrier and Brian Standing mounted a camera in a child’s bicycle seat and pedaled past a memorial to U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Created in 2010 by Veterans for Peace, the memorial of thousands of plastic “gravestones” provides a silent, moving tribute to the loss of American lives since 9/11.

The film streams on Amazon Prime and YouTube.

A book, a film, a glass of wine — enjoy the work of a Vermont writer and filmmaker

Watch a terrific film about the banjo’s roots — or read a copy of Jim Carrier’s first book – updated with new forward, afterward and epilogue.

The Librarian and The Banjo tells the story of music librarian Dena Epstein who uncovered the banjo’s African roots. The $20 DVD contains a one hour documentary with four “sidebars” on minstrel music, gourd banjos, the banjo in African American musical circles, and other stories of the banjo’s re-discovery. Starring Dena Epstein, with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bela Fleck, Eric Weissberg, and Tony Trischka. Available for immediate shipping. For further details, and to order a copy using Paypal, click here:

Letters from Yellowstone – 30th Anniversary Edition – When Jim Carrier, the Denver Post’s “Rocky Mountain Ranger,” traveled to Yellowstone National Park in 1986 to begin a series of seventy dispatches about the park’s human and natural history, he admitted he knew almost nothing about Yellowstone. Seven months later, after countless interviews, miles hiked, driven and paddled, time often shared with his daughter, Amy, he came home transformed. Described as a “minor classic” in nature writing,  Carrier’s letters – collected in his first book – reveal the impact the region had on him over the course of Yellowstone’s four seasons. Whether hiking through grizzly country at night in search of medical help for a gravely ill colleague, or challenging the Grand Teton, Carrier’s adventures will convince you that he was hardly a dispassionate correspondent. His letters demonstrate that the value of places such as Yellowstone may lie in the ways they transform all of us into more conscientious defender of the wild. The book is available as a $10 paperback or $2.99 ebook from Amazon. Click here to order.

SPLC releases campus guide to countering ‘alt-right’

An old and familiar poison is being spread on college campuses these days: the idea that America should be a country for white people.

With college students returning to class in the coming weeks, the SPLC released a new guide today that advises them on how to respond when speakers associated with the growing white nationalist, or “alt-right,” movement, appear on campus.

In recent months, numerous campuses have been rocked by student protests sparked by the scheduled appearances of alt-right figures such as Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos.

The alt-right activity is part of a larger surge in campus organizing and recruitment by white nationalists. Now, the movement is seeking to capitalize on the publicity and momentum it gained amid its strong support of the Trump campaign.

The guide is a project of the SPLC on Campus program, which currently has chapters at 30 colleges across the country. I wrote the guide for SPLC.

“The rise of the alt-right has left many students deeply concerned about hate on campus and asking what they can do to make a difference,” said Lecia Brooks, SPLC director of outreach. “This guide provides answers. It not only shows students how to respond to a possible alt-right event, but how to inoculate your campus against such extremism before these speakers appear on campus.”

In addition to offering step-by-step instructions for students to counter the movement’s influence, the guide explains the racist ideology of the alt-right and profiles its leaders.

As the guide explains, public universities that have a policy allowing student groups to host outside speakers cannot legally bar alt-right speakers except under the most extreme circumstances. The SPLC urges students to hold alternative events that celebrate diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness. In addition, they should speak out against hate and encourage university administrators to issue statements condemning the views of alt-right speakers.


The History, Meaning and Magic of GPS – now in paperback or eBook

From award-winning science writer Jim Carrier comes the remarkable story of GPS – an invention so woven into the fabric of modern life we can’t imagine civilization without it.

A troubled child of the Cold War, satellite navigation was created to aim nuclear missiles. Today, it is also used to find grandma’s house, guide drones, track packages, plant crops, spy on each other, and keep time. We take it granted, like we do electricity, unaware of how it almost didn’t happen.


Jim Carrier, a veteran writer, contributor to the New York Times and the National Geographic, transatlantic sailor, and a GPS entrepreneur, provides the first easy-to-understand primer on the fascinating history and vital importance of this civilizing tool. With 25 photos and illustrations.

Available as a 54-page paperback for $5.99 from Amazon.

The book can also be ordered from your favorite bookstore: ISBN-13: 978-1540354945 (CreateSpace-Assigned). ISBN-10: 1540354946

Also available as an eBook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook, Kobo and Google books.

Shrimp: so cheap and yet so costly — read the story behind the riddle.

Holiday parties, football games, celebrations of any kind sparkle with a big platter of shrimp.

Served on ice with a splash of cocktail sauce and spritz of lemon, there is nothing that exudes luxury and generosity like shrimp. Guaranteed — they will be gone in minutes!

Shrimp — The fruit of the sea.

Guess again.

All You Can Eat cover

In this expose and history of the shrimp fishing industry, science reporter Jim Carrier details how shrimp devolved from rare, pricey, hand-caught seafood to an industrial commodity raised in salt water feedlots.

Carved from environmentally sensitive wetlands, filled with antibiotics, pesticides and animal waste, shrimp ponds in poor tropical countries now supply the first world with 90 percent of its shrimp. Fed with ground seafood and grain, these shrimp are packed into shiny cartons by poorly paid, often slave, laborers under conditions that would turn your stomach.

Protests from indigenous fishermen have led to their murders.

Researched for a year along the Gulf and California coasts, underwritten by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, All You Can Eat is the first attempt to peel back the facade of picturesque shrimp boats seining delicacies from the ocean.

Shrimp drawingFirst published in Orion magazine, and included in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2010, All You Can Eat is updated and revised with Web links and pointers on shopping for shrimp.

The 5,000-word eBook is available, for $2.99, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Google Books and Kobo.

Here is a recent investigative report from the Associated Press on the shrimp-packing slave trade.