Trespassing Across America

One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland

Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735213879

Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Page: 288

View: 4046

Winner of the Nebraska Center for the Book Award, Travel - A Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Notable Book - Honoree of the Society of Midland Authors Annual Literary Award for Biography/Memoir Now that President Donald Trump has revived the Keystone XL pipeline that was rejected by former President Obama, Trespassing Across America is the book to help us understand the kaleidoscopic significance of the project. Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Ilgunas's story is both a fascinating account of one man's remarkable journey along the pipeline's potential path and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves--both physically and mentally. It started as a far-fetched idea--to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. But in the months that followed, it grew into something more for Ken Ilgunas. It became an irresistible adventure--an opportunity not only to draw attention to global warming but also to explore his personal limits. So in September 2012, he strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles to the Alberta tar sands. Once there, he turned around and began his 1,700-mile trek to the XL's endpoint on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey he would complete entirely on foot, walking almost exclusively across private property. Both a travel memoir and a reflection on climate change, Trespassing Across America is filled with colorful characters, harrowing physical trials, and strange encounters with the weather, terrain, and animals of America's plains. A tribute to the Great Plains and the people who live there, Ilgunas's memoir grapples with difficult questions about our place in the world: What is our personal responsibility as stewards of the land? As members of a rapidly warming planet? As mere individuals up against something as powerful as the fossil fuel industry? Ultimately, Trespassing Across America is a call to embrace the belief that a life lived not half wild is a life only half lived.
Posted in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Trespassing Across America

One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland

Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698198387

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 5539

Now that President Donald Trump has revived the Keystone XL pipeline that was rejected by former President Obama, Trespassing Across America is the book to help us understand the kaleidoscopic significance of the project. Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Ilgunas's story is both a fascinating account of one man’s remarkable journey along the pipeline's potential path and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves—both physically and mentally. It started as a far-fetched idea—to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. But in the months that followed, it grew into something more for Ken Ilgunas. It became an irresistible adventure—an opportunity not only to draw attention to global warming but also to explore his personal limits. So in September 2012, he strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles to the Alberta tar sands. Once there, he turned around and began his 1,700-mile trek to the XL’s endpoint on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey he would complete entirely on foot, walking almost exclusively across private property. Both a travel memoir and a reflection on climate change, Trespassing Across America is filled with colorful characters, harrowing physical trials, and strange encounters with the weather, terrain, and animals of America’s plains. A tribute to the Great Plains and the people who live there, Ilgunas’s memoir grapples with difficult questions about our place in the world: What is our personal responsibility as stewards of the land? As members of a rapidly warming planet? As mere individuals up against something as powerful as the fossil fuel industry? Ultimately, Trespassing Across America is a call to embrace the belief that a life lived not half wild is a life only half lived.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Trespassing Across America

One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland

Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399175482

Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Page: 267

View: 3957

Winner of the Nebraska Center for the Book Award, Travel - A Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Notable Book - Honoree of the Society of Midland Authors Annual Literary Award for Biography/Memoir Now that President Donald Trump has revived the Keystone XL pipeline that was rejected by former President Obama, Trespassing Across America is the book to help us understand the kaleidoscopic significance of the project. Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Ilgunas's story is both a fascinating account of one man's remarkable journey along the pipeline's potential path and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves--both physically and mentally. It started as a far-fetched idea--to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. But in the months that followed, it grew into something more for Ken Ilgunas. It became an irresistible adventure--an opportunity not only to draw attention to global warming but also to explore his personal limits. So in September 2012, he strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles to the Alberta tar sands. Once there, he turned around and began his 1,700-mile trek to the XL's endpoint on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey he would complete entirely on foot, walking almost exclusively across private property. Both a travel memoir and a reflection on climate change, Trespassing Across America is filled with colorful characters, harrowing physical trials, and strange encounters with the weather, terrain, and animals of America's plains. A tribute to the Great Plains and the people who live there, Ilgunas's memoir grapples with difficult questions about our place in the world: What is our personal responsibility as stewards of the land? As members of a rapidly warming planet? As mere individuals up against something as powerful as the fossil fuel industry? Ultimately, Trespassing Across America is a call to embrace the belief that a life lived not half wild is a life only half lived.
Posted in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Walden on Wheels

On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom

Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 054402883X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 296

View: 2550

Inspired by Thoreau, Ilgunas set out on a Spartan path to pay off $32,000 in undergraduate student loans by scrubbing toilets and making beds in Coldfoot, Alaska. Determined to graduate debt-free after enrolling in graduate school, he lived in an Econoline van in a campus parking lot, saving—and learning—much about the cost of education today.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

This Land Is Our Land

How We Lost the Right to Roam and How to Take It Back

Author: Ken Ilgunas

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735217858

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 2209

Private property is everywhere. Almost anywhere you walk in the United States, you will spot “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs on trees and fence posts. In America, there are more than a billion acres of grassland pasture, cropland, and forest, and miles and miles of coastlines that are mostly closed off to the public. Meanwhile, America’s public lands are threatened by extremist groups and right-wing think tanks who call for our public lands to be sold to the highest bidder and closed off to everyone else. If these groups get their way, public property may become private, precious green spaces may be developed, and the common good may be sacrificed for the benefit of the wealthy few. Ken Ilgunas, lifelong traveler, hitchhiker, and roamer, takes readers back to the nineteenth century, when Americans were allowed to journey undisturbed across the country. Today, though, America finds itself as an outlier in the Western world as a number of European countries have created sophisticated legal systems that protect landowners and give citizens generous roaming rights to their countries' green spaces. Inspired by the United States' history of roaming, and taking guidance from present-day Europe, Ilgunas calls into question our entrenched understanding of private property and provocatively proposes something unheard of: opening up American private property for public recreation. He imagines a future in which folks everywhere will have the right to walk safely, explore freely, and roam boldly—from California to the New York island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters.
Posted in Political Science

The Kindness of Strangers

Penniless Across America

Author: Mike McIntyre

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

ISBN: N.A

Category: Religion

Page: 246

View: 3672

A former columnist for The Washington Post describes his coast to coast walk, from San Francisco to Cape Fear, with no money or plans, depending only on the kindness of the people he encountered along the way. Original.
Posted in Religion

The Boiling River

Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon

Author: Andrés Ruzo

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501119486

Category: Nature

Page: 144

View: 3727

In this exciting adventure mixed with amazing scientific study, a young, exuberant explorer and geoscientist journeys deep into the Amazon—where rivers boil and legends come to life. When Andrés Ruzo was just a small boy in Peru, his grandfather told him the story of a mysterious legend: There is a river, deep in the Amazon, which boils as if a fire burns below it. Twelve years later, Ruzo—now a geoscientist—hears his aunt mention that she herself had visited this strange river. Determined to discover if the boiling river is real, Ruzo sets out on a journey deep into the Amazon. What he finds astounds him: In this long, wide, and winding river, the waters run so hot that locals brew tea in them; small animals that fall in are instantly cooked. As he studies the river, Ruzo faces challenges more complex than he had ever imaged. The Boiling River follows this young explorer as he navigates a tangle of competing interests—local shamans, illegal cattle farmers and loggers, and oil companies. This true account reads like a modern-day adventure, complete with extraordinary characters, captivating plot twists, and jaw-dropping details—including stunning photographs and a never-before-published account about this incredible natural wonder. Ultimately, though, The Boiling River is about a man trying to understand the moral obligation that comes with scientific discovery —to protect a sacred site from misuse, neglect, and even from his own discovery.
Posted in Nature

The Unsettlers

In Search of the Good Life in Today's America

Author: Mark Sundeen

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101618051

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 8924

“An in-depth and compelling account of diverse Americans living off the grid.” —Los Angeles Times The radical search for the simple life in today’s America. On a frigid April night, a classically trained opera singer, five months pregnant, and her husband, a former marine biologist, disembark an Amtrak train in La Plata, Missouri, assemble two bikes, and pedal off into the night, bound for a homestead they've purchased, sight unseen. Meanwhile, a horticulturist, heir to the Great Migration that brought masses of African Americans to Detroit, and her husband, a product of the white flight from it, have turned to urban farming to revitalize the blighted city they both love. And near Missoula, Montana, a couple who have been at the forefront of organic farming for decades navigate what it means to live and raise a family ethically. A work of immersive journalism steeped in a distinctively American social history and sparked by a personal quest, The Unsettlers traces the search for the simple life through the stories of these new pioneers and what inspired each of them to look for -- or create -- a better existence. Captivating and clear-eyed, it dares us to imagine what a sustainable, ethical, authentic future might actually look like.
Posted in Social Science

Canoeing with the Cree

Author: N.A

Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society

ISBN: 9780873517980

Category: SPORTS & RECREATION

Page: 206

View: 2191

Posted in SPORTS & RECREATION

Far and Away

Reporting from the Brink of Change

Author: Andrew Solomon

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476795061

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 592

View: 6281

From the winner of the National Book Award and the National Books Critics’ Circle Award—and one of the most original thinkers of our time—“Andrew Solomon’s magisterial Far and Away collects a quarter-century of soul-shaking essays” (Vanity Fair). Far and Away chronicles Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual. From his stint on the barricades in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions as it slowly, fitfully pushes toward freedom, and many other stories of profound upheaval, this book provides a unique window onto the very idea of social change. With his signature brilliance and compassion, Solomon demonstrates both how history is altered by individuals, and how personal identities are altered when governments alter. A journalist and essayist of remarkable perception and prescience, Solomon captures the essence of these cultures. Ranging across seven continents and twenty-five years, these “meaty dispatches…are brilliant geopolitical travelogues that also comprise a very personal and reflective resume of the National Book Award winner’s globe-trotting adventures” (Elle). Far and Away takes a magnificent journey into the heart of extraordinarily diverse experiences: “You will not only know the world better after having seen it through Solomon’s eyes, you will also care about it more” (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Posted in Literary Collections

Walking to Listen

4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time

Author: Andrew Forsthoefel

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1632867028

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 529

A memoir of one young man's coming of age on a journey across America--told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the way. Life is fast, and I've found it's easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I'm slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us. At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel headed out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read "Walking to Listen." He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't know how. So he decided to take a cross-country quest for guidance, one where everyone he met would be his guide. In the year that followed, he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered incredible kindness from strangers. Thousands shared their stories with him, sometimes confiding their prejudices, too. Often he didn't know how to respond. How to find unity in diversity? How to stay connected, even as fear works to tear us apart? He listened for answers to these questions, and to the existential questions every human must face, and began to find that the answer might be in listening itself. Ultimately, it's the stories of others living all along the roads of America that carry this journey and sing out in a hopeful, heartfelt book about how a life is made, and how our nation defines itself on the most human level.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy

The Many Faces of Anonymous

Author: Gabriella Coleman

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781685843

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 1344

Here is the ultimate book on the worldwide movement of hackers, pranksters, and activists that operates under the non-name Anonymous, by the writer the Huffington Post says “knows all of Anonymous’ deepest, darkest secrets.” Half a dozen years ago, anthropologist Gabriella Coleman set out to study the rise of this global phenomenon just as some of its members were turning to political protest and dangerous disruption (before Anonymous shot to fame as a key player in the battles over WikiLeaks, the Arab Spring, and Occupy Wall Street). She ended up becoming so closely connected to Anonymous that the tricky story of her inside–outside status as Anon confidante, interpreter, and erstwhile mouthpiece forms one of the themes of this witty and entirely engrossing book. The narrative brims with details unearthed from within a notoriously mysterious subculture, whose semi-legendary tricksters—such as Topiary, tflow, Anachaos, and Sabu—emerge as complex, diverse, politically and culturally sophisticated people. Propelled by years of chats and encounters with a multitude of hackers, including imprisoned activist Jeremy Hammond and the double agent who helped put him away, Hector Monsegur, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy is filled with insights into the meaning of digital activism and little understood facets of culture in the Internet age, including the history of “trolling,” the ethics and metaphysics of hacking, and the origins and manifold meanings of “the lulz.” From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Political Science

Braving It

A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild

Author: James Campbell

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307461262

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 4906

The powerful and affirming story of a father's journey with his teenage daughter to the far reaches of Alaska Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to only a handful of people, is a harsh and lonely place. So when James Campbell’s cousin Heimo Korth asked him to spend a summer building a cabin in the rugged Interior, Campbell hesitated about inviting his fifteen-year-old daughter, Aidan, to join him: Would she be able to withstand clouds of mosquitoes, the threat of grizzlies, bathing in an ice-cold river, and hours of grueling labor peeling and hauling logs? But once there, Aidan embraced the wild. She even agreed to return a few months later to help the Korths work their traplines and hunt for caribou and moose. Despite windchills of 50 degrees below zero, father and daughter ventured out daily to track, hunt, and trap. Under the supervision of Edna, Heimo’s Yupik Eskimo wife, Aidan grew more confident in the woods. Campbell knew that in traditional Eskimo cultures, some daughters earned a rite of passage usually reserved for young men. So he decided to take Aidan back to Alaska one final time before she left home. It would be their third and most ambitious trip, backpacking over Alaska’s Brooks Range to the headwaters of the mighty Hulahula River, where they would assemble a folding canoe and paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The journey would test them, and their relationship, in one of the planet’s most remote places: a land of wolves, musk oxen, Dall sheep, golden eagles, and polar bears. At turns poignant and humorous, Braving It is an ode to America’s disappearing wilderness and a profound meditation on what it means for a child to grow up—and a parent to finally, fully let go.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist's Bicycle Journey Across the United States

Author: David Goodrich

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1681774852

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 3235

An epic bicycle journey across the American hinterland that explores the challenges of climate change alongside a diverse array of American voices. After a distinguished career in climate science as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, David Goodrich returned home to the United States to find a nation and a people in denial. Concerned that the American people are willfully deluded by the misinformation about climate that dominates media and politics, David thought a little straight talk could set things right. As they say in Animal House, he decided that "this calls for a stupid and futile gesture on someone's part, and I'm just the guy to do it." Starting on the beach in Delaware, David rode his bike 4,200 miles to Oregon, talking with the people he met on the ultimate road trip. Along the way he learned a great deal about why climate is a complicated issue for many Americans and even more about the country we all share. Climate change is the central environmental issue of our time. But A Hole in the Wind is also about the people Dave met and the experiences he had along the way, like the toddler's beauty pageant in Delaware, the tornado in Missouri, rust-belt towns and their relationship with fracking, and the mined-out uranium ghost town in Wyoming. As he rides, David will discuss the climate with audiences varying from laboratories to diners to elementary schools. Beautifully simple, direct, and honest, A Hole in the Wind is a fresh, refreshing ride through a difficult and controversial topic, and a rich read that makes you glad to be alive.
Posted in Nature

Wild by Nature

From Siberia to Australia, Three Years Alone in the Wilderness on Foot

Author: Sarah Marquis

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250081998

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 1207

One woman 10,000 miles on foot 6 countries 8 pairs of hiking boots 3,000 cups of tea 1,000 days and nights "The only way to survive three years of walking was to embrace the moment of now.”—from Wild by Nature Not since Cheryl Strayed gifted us with her adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail in her memoir, Wild, has there been such a powerful epic adventure by a woman alone. In Wild by Nature, National Geographic Explorer Sarah Marquis takes you on the trail of her ten-thousand-mile solo hike across the remote Gobi desert from Siberia to Thailand, at which point she was transported by boat to complete the hike at her favorite tree in Australia. Against nearly insurmountable odds and relying on hunting and her own wits, Sarah Marquis survived the Mafia, drug dealers, thieves on horseback who harassed her tent every night for weeks, temperatures from subzero to scorching, life-threatening wildlife, a dengue fever delirium in the Laos jungle, tropic ringworm in northern Thailand, dehydration, and a life-threatening abscess. This is an incredible story of adventure, human ingenuity, persistence, and resilience that shows firsthand what it is to adventure as a woman in the most dangerous of circumstance, what it is to be truly alone in the wild, and why someone would challenge themselves with an expedition others would call crazy. For Marquis, her story is about freedom, being alive and wild by nature.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Wonder Trail

True Stories from Los Angeles to the End of the World

Author: Steve Hely

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698404238

Category: Travel

Page: 336

View: 1719

Steve Hely, writer for The Office and American Dad!, and recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, presents a travel book about his journey through Central and South America. Part travel book, part pop history, part comic memoir, Hely's writing will make readers want to reach for their backpack and hiking boots. The Wonder Trail is the story of a trip from Los Angeles to the bottom of South America, presented in 102 short chapters. From Mexico City to Oaxaca; into ancient Mayan ruins; the jungles, coffee plantations, and remote beaches of Central America; across the Panama Canal; by sea to Colombia; to the wild Easter celebration of Popayán; to the Amazon rainforest; the Inca sites of Cuzco and Machu Picchu; to the Galápagos Islands; the Atacama Desert of Chile; and down to wind-worn Patagonia at the bottom of the Western Hemisphere; Steve traveled collecting stories, adventures, oddities, marvels, bits of history and biography, tales of weirdos, fun facts, and anything else interesting or illuminating. Steve's plan was to discover the unusual, wonderful, and absurd in Central and South America, to seek and find the incredible, delightful people and experiences that came his way. And the book that resulted is just as fun. A blend of travel writing, history, and comic memoir, The Wonder Trail will inspire, inform, and delight. From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Travel

My Ghost Has a Name

Memoir of a Murder

Author: Rossalyn Rossignol

Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press

ISBN: 1611178274

Category: True Crime

Page: 272

View: 3296

On October 20, 1999, thirty-eight-year-old Nell Crowley Davis was bludgeoned, strangled, and stabbed to death in the backyard of her home in Bluffton, South Carolina, near Hilton Head Island. In My Ghost Has a Name: Memoir of a Murder, Rosalyn Rossignol tells the story of how Davis’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Sarah Nickel, along with the two teenage boys, came to be charged with the armed robbery and murder. Since no physical evidence tied Nickel to the murder, she was convicted of armed robbery and given the same sentence as the boys—thirty years. In the months that followed, Nickel vehemently insisted that she was innocent. Torn by Nickel’s pleas, Rossignol, a childhood friend of the murder victim, committed herself to answering the question that perhaps the police detectives, the press, and the courts had not: whether Sarah Nickel was indeed guilty of this crime. During five years of research, Rossignol read case files and transcripts, examined evidence from the crime scene, listened to the 9-1-1 call, and watched videotaped statements made by the accused in the hours following their arrest. She also interviewed family members, detectives, the solicitor who prosecuted the case, the lawyers who represented the defendants, and the judge who tried the case, as well as Nickel. What Rossignol uncovers is a fascinating maze of twists and turns, replete with a memorable cast of characters including a shotgun-toting grandma, a self-avowed nihilist and Satan-worshipper, and a former Rice Queen of Savannah, Georgia. Unlike all previous investigators, Rossignol has uncovered the truth about what happened, and the reasons why, on that fateful October day.
Posted in True Crime

Callings

The Purpose and Passion of Work

Author: Dave Isay,Maya Millett

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143110071

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 5998

Stories of passion, courage, and commitment, following individuals as they pursue the work they were born to do, from StoryCorps founder Dave Isay In Callings, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay presents unforgettable stories from people doing what they love. Some found their paths at a very young age, others later in life; some overcame great odds or upturned their lives in order to pursue what matters to them. Many of their stories have never been broadcast or published by StoryCorps until now. We meet a man from the barrios of Texas whose harrowing experiences in a family of migrant farmers inspired him to become a public defender. We meet a longtime waitress who takes pride in making regulars and newcomers alike feel at home in her Nashville diner. We meet a young man on the South Side of Chicago who became a teacher in order to help at-risk teenagers like the ones who killed his father get on the right track. We meet a woman from Little Rock who helps former inmates gain the skills and confidence they need to rejoin the workforce. Together they demonstrate how work can be about much more than just making a living, that chasing dreams and finding inspiration in unexpected places can transform a vocation into a calling. Their shared sense of passion, honor, and commitment brings deeper meaning and satisfaction to every aspect of their lives. An essential contribution to the beloved StoryCorps collection, Callings is an inspiring tribute to rewarding work and the American pursuit of happiness. From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Engineering Eden

The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature

Author: Jordan Fisher Smith

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307454282

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 9399

The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks. When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. The proceedings drew to the witness stand some of the most important figures in twentieth century wilderness management, including the eminent zoologist A. Starker Leopold, who had produced a landmark conservationist document in the 1950s, and all-American twin researchers John and Frank Craighead, who ran groundbreaking bear studies at Yellowstone. Their testimony would help decide whether the government owed the Walker family restitution for Harry's death, but it would also illuminate decades of patchwork efforts to preserve an idea of nature that had never existed in the first place. In this remarkable excavation of American environmental history, nature writer and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith uses Harry Walker's story to tell the larger narrative of the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Tracing a course from the founding of the national parks through the tangled twentieth-century growth of the conservationist movement, Smith gives the lie to the portrayal of national parks as Edenic wonderlands unspoiled until the arrival of Europeans, and shows how virtually every attempt to manage nature in the parks has only created cascading effects that require even more management. Moving across time and between Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks, Engineering Eden shows how efforts at wilderness management have always been undone by one fundamental problem--that the idea of what is "wild" dissolves as soon as we begin to examine it, leaving us with little framework to say what wilderness should look like and which human interventions are acceptable in trying to preserve it. In the tradition of John McPhee's The Control of Nature and Alan Burdick's Out of Eden, Jordan Fisher Smith has produced a powerful work of popular science and environmental history, grappling with critical issues that we have even now yet to resolve.
Posted in Science

The Naturalist

Theodore Roosevelt, a Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History

Author: Darrin Lunde

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0307464318

Category: Conservationists

Page: 352

View: 8824

No U.S. president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than Theodore Roosevelt-prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and ardent conservationist. We think of him as a larger-than-life original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde has located Roosevelt in the proud tradition of museum naturalism. From his earliest days, Roosevelt actively modeled himself on the men who pioneered a key branch of biology through the collection of animal specimens and by developing a taxonomy of the natural world. The influence they would have on Roosevelt shaped not only his audacious personality but also his career, informing his work as a statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans' relationships to this country's wilderness. Drawing on Roosevelt's diaries and expedition journals, and pulling from his own experience as a leading figure in today's museum naturalism, Lunde constructs a thoughtfully researched, singularly insightful history that tracks Roosevelt's maturation from exuberant boyhood hunter to vital champion of serious scientific inquiry.
Posted in Conservationists