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Encounters with the Archdruid

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Encounters with the Archdruid Cover

ISBN13: 9780374514310
ISBN10: 0374514313
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.

John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid and The Curve of Binding Energy were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science.

The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesseson a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Four men are involved: Charles Park, a mineral engineer who believes that our economic well-being rests on finding metals and extracting them from the earth wherever they are found; Charles Fraser, a resort developer who regards all conservationists as druids ("religious figures who sacrifice people and worship trees"); Floyd Dominy, a builder of gigantic dams, who grew up in dry Western country and deeply believes in the impoundment of water; and David Brower, the most militant conservationist in the world. In turn, Park, Fraser, and Dominy encounter Brower, whether in rapids, in forests, on mountain trails, on a raft, in a jeep, or on footnow reserved, now friendly, now fighting hard across a philosophical divide.

"The importance of this lively book in the unmanageably proliferating literature on ecology is in its confrontation between remarkable men who hold great differences of opinion with integrity on all sides. Mr. McPhee, not pushing, just presenting, portrays them all in the round, showing them clashing in concrete situations where factors are complex and decisions hard. Readers must choose sides."The Wall Street Journal

"For those who want to understand the issues of the environmental crisis, Encounters with the Archdruid is a superb book. McPhee reveals more nuances of the value revolution that dominates the new age of ecology than most writers could pack into a volume twice as long. I marvel at his capacity to listen intently and extract the essence of a man and his philosophy in the fewest possible words."Stewart Udall

"Brower and his antagonists are revealed as subtly and convincingly as they would be in a good novel."Time

Synopsis:

The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.

About the Author

John McPhee is the author of twenty-six books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Peter M Saucerman, April 20, 2011 (view all comments by Peter M Saucerman)
This may not be John McPhee's best-known work, but it is certainly on par with his best. A series of encounters between David Brower, the man who radicalized the Sierra Club into a political force, and notable 'captains of industry' in the form of a mining engineer, a real estate developer and a dam builder. Each of these men are remarkable, each loves the earth and its bounty, and each has a very different view of man's place and role. Mr. McPhee is an exquisitely skilled observer, drawing keen descriptions of his subjects as they hike together through the wilderness or race down a raging river in rubber boats. Their discussions, debates and (sometime) shouting matches all inform a deeply philosophical debate about our place in the natural world. This book is 40 years old in 2011, and it foretells much of the present day debate over environmental and conservation in the US. I would put it squarely in the must-read category for understanding the environmental movement.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374514310
Author:
McPhee, John
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Author:
McPhee, John
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
Ecology
Subject:
Conservation of natural resources
Subject:
Sustainable Development
Subject:
Wilderness areas
Subject:
Development - Sustainable Development
Subject:
Business-Manufacturing and Product Development
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
19771031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.28 x 5.46 x 0.67 in

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Related Subjects


Business » Manufacturing and Product Development
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General

Encounters with the Archdruid Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374514310 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.

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