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A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River Paperback – Dec 1 1968
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Published in 1949, shortly after the author's death, A Sand County Almanac is a classic of nature writing, widely cited as one of the most influential nature books ever published. Writing from the vantage of his summer shack along the banks of the Wisconsin River, Leopold mixes essay, polemic, and memoir in his book's pages. In one famous episode, he writes of killing a female wolf early in his career as a forest ranger, coming upon his victim just as she was dying, "in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes.... I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view." Leopold's road-to-Damascus change of view would find its fruit some years later in his so-called land ethic, in which he held that nothing that disturbs the balance of nature is right. Much of Almanac elaborates on this basic premise, as well as on Leopold's view that it is something of a human duty to preserve as much wild land as possible, as a kind of bank for the biological future of all species. Beautifully written, quiet, and elegant, Leopold's book deserves continued study and discussion today. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
These original essays on the natural environment by renowned conservationist Leopold (1887-1948) were first published posthumously in 1949. In this edition, more than 80 lush photographs shot by nature photographer Sewell on Leopold's former Wisconsin farm accompany the text. Following the seasons, Leopold, whose seminal work in the U.S. Forest Service and in books and magazines helped shape the conservation movement in this country, shared his perceptive and carefully observed portraits of nature month by month. In April, he watched the "sky dance" of the woodcock, who flew upward in a series of spirals. As he hunted partridges in October, his way was lit by "red lanterns," the blackberry leaves that shone in the sun. A November rumination details how the products of tree diseases provide wooded shelters for woodpeckers, hives for wild bees and food for chickadees. Included also is an appreciative essay on wild marshland and several pieces stressing the importance of protecting the natural environment. Leopold sadly observed, "there is yet no ethic dealing with man's relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it." His hope that society would develop an "ecological conscience" by placing what should be preserved above what is economically expedient remains relevant today. These evocative essays about the farm Leopold loved will again be enjoyed by nature lovers and preservationists alike. Though the book has been continuously in print, this beautiful illustrated edition, with its introduction by nature writer Brower (The Starship and the Canoe) will attract fans and newcomers and will make a great gift book this holiday season.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
"This book has no value to the everyday person"
The reviewer is one of those everyday persons, a person who has become utterly disconnected from the land, and the ecosystem from which she has emerged. Leopold's book is about nature as experienced by those who live in it - not by those who see it from a car, or on the Discovery Channel. If you are an every day person, living in a suburban box, enjoying nature in officially sanctioned parks (closed at 11pm of course), fogging the area with Raid so that you can eat your macaroni salad, then you will not enjoy this book.
If, like me, you are trapped in this suburban nightmare, and have this feeling that something is TERRIBLY wrong, then this book will help you to understand WHY you feel so miserable: We live on a planet, and share the planet with an enormous, pervasive ecosystem of plants and animals - kept only temporarily at bay by our sheetrock and asphalt barriers. Leopold describes this world with stunning insight derived from a near infinite patience in the observation of the natural world. He goes out on his walks and expeditions into a slightly younger America, and reports back on the world as it is - the world "out there" - in a way that few have done before or since. Read this book and step out of your "every day person" life. No walk in the woods will ever be the same again!
Interestingly, especially to me as someone who hunts, much is written in the context of hunting. He also has some insightful words about why people do hunt as a connection to nature. As only a hunter can, he identifies the hunter's reverance for the land and nature.
Portions of this were assigned when I was in college. Now, 28 years later, the entirety means much more. It should be required reading for everyone, especially lovers of the outdoors.
Most recent customer reviews
Brings back philosophy to architecture and urbanism, something so simple and so vital most authors forgot it needed to be there.Published 3 months ago by Horizen
The edition is a bit cheap - the pages are narrow and the text oozes in and out of the spine margin on every page. But really wanted to hold this book in my hands when reading.Published 8 months ago by J. Dowker
This is truly a timeless classic;intelligent and witty. I am saddened that we have not grasped more completely the wisdom of Aldo Leopold's thoughts.Published 14 months ago by Geordie Daneliuk
Leopold's classic is an autumn reading ritual for me. His personification of animals - and 'animification' of people - is so touching, so powerful.Published 17 months ago by S Good Man
Leopold is so perceptive that reading him makes me feel completely oblivious. In his utterly non-compartmentalized awareness, all the wildflowers, bugs or birds have names and... Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2013 by Brian Griffith
I received it quickly :) The quality is acceptable, only found some lines in one page are highlighted. Over all, I am very satisfied with this experience. Thanks the saler a lots! Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2012 by Mia
Read Walden, then read Sand County Almanac. They might just change the way you think about the world.Published on March 24 2004 by Thomas Bonar
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