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Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America

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Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America Cover

ISBN13: 9780520251113
ISBN10: 0520251113
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Beginning with an Olympic ski race in northern Utah, this heartfelt book from award-winning writer and photographer Stephen Trimble takes a penetrating look at the battles raging over the land — and the soul — of the American West. Bargaining for Eden investigates the high-profile story of a reclusive billionaire who worked relentlessly to acquire public land for his ski resort and to host the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

In a gripping, character-driven narrative, based on extensive interviews, Trimble tells of the land exchange deal that ensued, one of the largest and most controversial in U.S. history, as he deftly explores the inner conflicts, paradoxes, and greed at the heart of land-use disputes from the back rooms of Washington to the grassroots efforts of passionate citizens. Into this mix, Trimble weaves the personal story of how he, a lifelong environmentalist, ironically became a landowner and developer himself, and began to explore the ethics of ownership anew.

We travel with Trimble in a fascinating journey that becomes, in the end, a hopeful credo to guide citizens and communities seeking to reinvent their relationship with the beloved American landscape.

Review:

"While open spaces in America are rapidly being destroyed as a result of greed, hubris, and neglect, Stephen Trimble's Bargaining for Eden is a powerful call for us to more earnestly consider our solemn obligations as stewards of the Earth. Combining remarkable investigative research with his skills as a poignant essayist, Trimble has favored us with an extraordinary account that inspires as it challenges our values, our commitment to action, and our sense of connection with place, community, and the essence of who we are as inhabitants of this wondrous planet." Rocky Anderson, Former Mayor of Salt Lake City

Review:

"From Hetch Hetchy to Glen Canyon, we mourn the sacred places in the west that have been bargained away for the American dream. Stephen Trimble eloquently shows that these are not just conflicts over land, but choices over which American dream we pursue as a nation. What moves us to act? What do we really value? How shall we live together? In this mature and poignant book, Trimble urges passion and self-awareness and reminds us that no conflict arises totally outside of oneself; all of the things we fear in others may be possible in ourselves." Peter Forbes, Director, Center for Whole Communities

Review:

"With this masterwork, Stephen Trimble has given us the most reasoned and moving account of how and why the West becomes developed and its lands fragmented. Rather than merely pointing the finger at developers or passive staffers in federal agencies, he places the development issue in a larger cultural context, asking us all to be full participants in the choices about how our lands and waters are ultimately managed. As wise as it is heartbreaking, Trimble's story challenges us to sign on to supporting a new ethics of land use in the West that will keep such tragedies from occurring so frequently in the future." Gary Nabhan, author of Renewing America's Food Traditions and Cultures of Habitat

Review:

"With Bargaining for Eden, Stephen Trimble has given us both a piece of dogged investigative journalism and a soul-searching confessional. The shocking, largely unreported story of Earl Holding and the Snowbasin land swap becomes, in Trimble's heartfelt prose, a metaphor for the way land is used and abused in the West. But Stephen doesn't stop with the exposé. He weaves it into a thoughtful and thought-provoking reverie on man's place in an increasingly threatened landscape. We are all part of the problem. And, he writes hopefully, we can, with honest effort, become part of the solution." Peter Shelton, author of Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of WWII's 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops

Review:

"Make no mistake: Bargaining for Eden is a brave and important book. It's a page-turner of a story about powerful men, unspeakable wealth, and Olympic gold-medal mountains. But it's also a Jungle — in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, a disturbing story of how politics and capitalism worked hand-in-hand against the common good and our commonweal of wildlands. If we are ever to learn how to live on the land and at the same time protect its heart, maybe we can start here, in Trimble's beloved Utah mountains." Kathleen Dean Moore, author of The Pine Island Paradox

Review:

"Bargaining for Eden convincingly asserts that the protection of the wildest country on our public lands is necessary to preserve that quality of America so famously described by the great Wallace Stegner as 'the geography of hope.' The case Trimble makes is well illustrated, and also troubling testimony to the speed with which a birthright is now slipping away." Boston Globe Book Section

Synopsis:

"While open spaces in America are rapidly being destroyed as a result of greed, hubris, and neglect, Stephen Trimble's Bargaining for Eden is a powerful call for us to more earnestly consider our solemn obligations as stewards of the Earth. Combining remarkable investigative research with his skills as a poignant essayist, Trimble has favored us with an extraordinary account that inspires as it challenges our values, our commitment to action, and our sense of connection with place, community, and the essence of who we are as inhabitants of this wondrous planet."—Rocky Anderson, Former Mayor of Salt Lake City

“From Hetch Hetchy to Glen Canyon, we mourn the sacred places in the west that have been bargained away for the American dream. Stephen Trimble eloquently shows that these are not just conflicts over land, but choices over which American dream we pursue as a nation. What moves us to act? What do we really value? How shall we live together? In this mature and poignant book, Trimble urges passion and self-awareness and reminds us that no conflict arises totally outside of oneself; all of the things we fear in others may be possible in ourselves.”—Peter Forbes, Director, Center for Whole Communities

“With this masterwork, Stephen Trimble has given us the most reasoned and moving account of how and why the West becomes developed and its lands fragmented. Rather than merely pointing the finger at developers or passive staffers in federal agencies, he places the development issue in a larger cultural context, asking us all to be full participants in the choices about how our lands and waters are ultimately managed. As wise as it is heartbreaking, Trimble's story challenges us to sign on to supporting a new ethics of land use in the West that will keep such tragedies from occurring so frequently in the future.”—Gary Nabhan, author of Renewing America's Food Traditions and Cultures of Habitat

“With Bargaining for Eden, Stephen Trimble has given us both a piece of dogged investigative journalism and a soul-searching confessional. The shocking, largely unreported story of Earl Holding and the Snowbasin land swap becomes, in Trimble's heartfelt prose, a metaphor for the way land is used and abused in the West. But Stephen doesn't stop with the exposé. He weaves it into a thoughtful and thought-provoking reverie on man's place in an increasingly threatened landscape. We are all part of the problem. And, he writes hopefully, we can, with honest effort, become part of the solution.”—Peter Shelton, author of Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of WWII's 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops

“Make no mistake: Bargaining for Eden is a brave and important book. It's a page-turner of a story about powerful men, unspeakable wealth, and Olympic gold-medal mountains. But it's also a Jungle—in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, a disturbing story of how politics and capitalism worked hand-in-hand against the common good and our commonweal of wildlands. If we are ever to learn how to live on the land and at the same time protect its heart, maybe we can start here, in Trimble's beloved Utah mountains.”—Kathleen Dean Moore, author of The Pine Island Paradox

About the Author

Writer, photographer, and naturalist Stephen Trimble has won awards for his nonfiction, his fiction, and his photography, including the Ansel Adams Award from The Sierra Club. His books include The Sagebrush Ocean: A Natural History of the Great Basin, The People: Indians of the American Southwest, The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places (with Gary Nabhan), and Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness (co-compiled with Terry Tempest Williams).

Table of Contents

Becoming Earl

PART I: BEDROCK

Little America

Mountain of Dreams

The Prophets of Place

PART II: THE GOOD BUSINESSMAN

The Last Resort

The Rules of the Game

Museum of Improprieties

Track Hoe

Pneumonia Road

Public Trust

PART III: THE MIDDLE-AGED WEST

Ninety-Nine Seconds

Farmers in Eden

Crazy Grace

Devil's Bargains

The Woes of Wayne County

Credo: The People's West

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Kevin McCarthy, August 21, 2008 (view all comments by Kevin McCarthy)
Utah's acceptance of the 2002 winter games seemed to prove the soundness of Colorado's decision to reject the games decades earlier. As has now been well documented, the award touched off a cascade of corruption, from outright bribery of the International Olympic Committee to various land swindles. It was a seismic event in the rural West, creating a shock doctrine all its own. Here at long last was the perfect excuse for wholesale development at nearly any cost. Honorable state and national legislators morphed into eager enablers.

Steve Trimble wisely opted out of trying to thoroughly assay the political scheming and environmental consequences played out in a spectacular crucible. But he has done something far better. He tracks one emblematic deal -- the transfer of a great swath of prime public land to a driven man who was already one of the largest landholders in the country. Bargaining For Eden is not just another depressing illustration of the corrupting influence of power, but a vibrant montage of unusual suspects expressing quirky aspects of individualism, camaraderie, and Western ethos. The author himself does not stand aside in judgment, but, in going the extra mile for the truth, explicitly implicates himself -- almost shamefacedly detailing his own micro-land development.

I'm grateful that Steve Trimble volunteered to guide us through this minefield of desires and improbable outcomes. His softspoken integrity puts the reader at ease. His own contemplative adventures are mingled deftly with the big doings of "operator" Earl Holding -- a man who, despite the author's careful rendering, seems more bulldozer than flesh and blood. This, above all, makes the book compelling. It is surprisingly easy to read, in spite of the messy wrangling for wilderness and luxury it reveals. In the end, I could not escape the feeling that the author's essential honesty and kindness overshadow even his larger-than-life subjects. He would never concede the point, however. He maintains that we are all Earl Holding, to some degree. That perspective is, at least, instructive and useful for bridge-building. Steve Trimble is harder on himself than on anyone else in this book, and that's saying something. It is therefore the one book about the changing West that every American should read.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
snofrank, August 8, 2008 (view all comments by snofrank)
"Eden" is really two books in one. The first is Trimble's account of how self-made billionaire Earl Holding quietly used his influence to acquire over 1,000 acres of public land adjacent to his Snow Basin ski resort prior to the 2002 winter Olympics. Although this story is hardly breaking news, it is a fascinating, well-written tale of how one powerful man can overrule an agency--in this case the Forest Service--to achieve his personal ambition. While Trimble clearly doesn't like how this story played out, he is fair to fault to everyone involved on all sides of the issue.
The second book (within the book) is Trimble's personal tale of buying and developing a piece of land in Southern Utah's scenic redrock country for a second home, and all the thinking he did to make sure this was done the "right" way. This tale is really about all of us who live in the West and how we impact the land, because we all do impact the land. Did Trimble do something noble, or is he merely rationalizing doing the same thing Earl Holding did, albeit on a smaller scale. Trimble presents his case; the reader can decide that for him or herself.
What I really like about the whole book is it thoroughness and fairness. This is a discussion, not a rant, and that sets it apart from a great many other environmental tomes.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780520251113
Subtitle:
The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America
Author:
Trimble, Stephen
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Land use
Subject:
Real estate development
Subject:
Natural Resources
Subject:
United States - State & Local - West
Subject:
Public Policy - General
Subject:
Land use -- West (U.S.)
Subject:
Real estate development - West (U.S.)
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Public Policy - Environmental Policy
Subject:
General Nature
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090914
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
38 b/w photographs, 3 maps
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1 in 1.05 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Management

Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America Used Hardcover
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages University of California Press - English 9780520251113 Reviews:
"Review" by , "While open spaces in America are rapidly being destroyed as a result of greed, hubris, and neglect, Stephen Trimble's Bargaining for Eden is a powerful call for us to more earnestly consider our solemn obligations as stewards of the Earth. Combining remarkable investigative research with his skills as a poignant essayist, Trimble has favored us with an extraordinary account that inspires as it challenges our values, our commitment to action, and our sense of connection with place, community, and the essence of who we are as inhabitants of this wondrous planet."
"Review" by , "From Hetch Hetchy to Glen Canyon, we mourn the sacred places in the west that have been bargained away for the American dream. Stephen Trimble eloquently shows that these are not just conflicts over land, but choices over which American dream we pursue as a nation. What moves us to act? What do we really value? How shall we live together? In this mature and poignant book, Trimble urges passion and self-awareness and reminds us that no conflict arises totally outside of oneself; all of the things we fear in others may be possible in ourselves."
"Review" by , "With this masterwork, Stephen Trimble has given us the most reasoned and moving account of how and why the West becomes developed and its lands fragmented. Rather than merely pointing the finger at developers or passive staffers in federal agencies, he places the development issue in a larger cultural context, asking us all to be full participants in the choices about how our lands and waters are ultimately managed. As wise as it is heartbreaking, Trimble's story challenges us to sign on to supporting a new ethics of land use in the West that will keep such tragedies from occurring so frequently in the future."
"Review" by , "With Bargaining for Eden, Stephen Trimble has given us both a piece of dogged investigative journalism and a soul-searching confessional. The shocking, largely unreported story of Earl Holding and the Snowbasin land swap becomes, in Trimble's heartfelt prose, a metaphor for the way land is used and abused in the West. But Stephen doesn't stop with the exposé. He weaves it into a thoughtful and thought-provoking reverie on man's place in an increasingly threatened landscape. We are all part of the problem. And, he writes hopefully, we can, with honest effort, become part of the solution." Peter Shelton, author of Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of WWII's 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops
"Review" by , "Make no mistake: Bargaining for Eden is a brave and important book. It's a page-turner of a story about powerful men, unspeakable wealth, and Olympic gold-medal mountains. But it's also a Jungle — in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, a disturbing story of how politics and capitalism worked hand-in-hand against the common good and our commonweal of wildlands. If we are ever to learn how to live on the land and at the same time protect its heart, maybe we can start here, in Trimble's beloved Utah mountains."
"Review" by , "Bargaining for Eden convincingly asserts that the protection of the wildest country on our public lands is necessary to preserve that quality of America so famously described by the great Wallace Stegner as 'the geography of hope.' The case Trimble makes is well illustrated, and also troubling testimony to the speed with which a birthright is now slipping away."
"Synopsis" by ,
"While open spaces in America are rapidly being destroyed as a result of greed, hubris, and neglect, Stephen Trimble's Bargaining for Eden is a powerful call for us to more earnestly consider our solemn obligations as stewards of the Earth. Combining remarkable investigative research with his skills as a poignant essayist, Trimble has favored us with an extraordinary account that inspires as it challenges our values, our commitment to action, and our sense of connection with place, community, and the essence of who we are as inhabitants of this wondrous planet."—Rocky Anderson, Former Mayor of Salt Lake City

“From Hetch Hetchy to Glen Canyon, we mourn the sacred places in the west that have been bargained away for the American dream. Stephen Trimble eloquently shows that these are not just conflicts over land, but choices over which American dream we pursue as a nation. What moves us to act? What do we really value? How shall we live together? In this mature and poignant book, Trimble urges passion and self-awareness and reminds us that no conflict arises totally outside of oneself; all of the things we fear in others may be possible in ourselves.”—Peter Forbes, Director, Center for Whole Communities

“With this masterwork, Stephen Trimble has given us the most reasoned and moving account of how and why the West becomes developed and its lands fragmented. Rather than merely pointing the finger at developers or passive staffers in federal agencies, he places the development issue in a larger cultural context, asking us all to be full participants in the choices about how our lands and waters are ultimately managed. As wise as it is heartbreaking, Trimble's story challenges us to sign on to supporting a new ethics of land use in the West that will keep such tragedies from occurring so frequently in the future.”—Gary Nabhan, author of Renewing America's Food Traditions and Cultures of Habitat

“With Bargaining for Eden, Stephen Trimble has given us both a piece of dogged investigative journalism and a soul-searching confessional. The shocking, largely unreported story of Earl Holding and the Snowbasin land swap becomes, in Trimble's heartfelt prose, a metaphor for the way land is used and abused in the West. But Stephen doesn't stop with the exposé. He weaves it into a thoughtful and thought-provoking reverie on man's place in an increasingly threatened landscape. We are all part of the problem. And, he writes hopefully, we can, with honest effort, become part of the solution.”—Peter Shelton, author of Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of WWII's 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops

“Make no mistake: Bargaining for Eden is a brave and important book. It's a page-turner of a story about powerful men, unspeakable wealth, and Olympic gold-medal mountains. But it's also a Jungle—in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, a disturbing story of how politics and capitalism worked hand-in-hand against the common good and our commonweal of wildlands. If we are ever to learn how to live on the land and at the same time protect its heart, maybe we can start here, in Trimble's beloved Utah mountains.”—Kathleen Dean Moore, author of The Pine Island Paradox

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