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Flight maps :adventures with nature in modern Americaby Jennifer Price
Synopses & Reviews
In five sharply drawn chapters, Flight Maps charts the ways in which Americans have historically made connections—and missed connections—with nature. Beginning with an extraordinary chapter on the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and the accompanying belligerent early view of natures inexhaustibility, Price then moves on to discuss the Audubon Societys founding campaign in the 1890s against the extravagant use of stuffed birds to decorate womens hats. At the heart of the book is an improbable and extremely witty history of the plastic pink flamingo, perhaps the totem of Artifice and Kitsch—nevertheless a potent symbol through which to plumb our troublesome yet powerful visions of nature. From here the story of the affluent Baby-Boomers begins. Through an examination of the phenomenal success of The Nature Company, TV series such as Northern Exposure and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and the sport-utility vehicle craze, the author ruminates on our very American, very urbanized and suburbanized needs, discontents, and desires for meaningful, yet artificially constructed connections to nature.Witty, at times even whimsical, Flight Maps is also a sophisticated and meditative archaeology of Americans very real and uneasy desire to make nature meaningful in their lives.
Book News Annotation:
The author analyzes the American cultural relationship with nature, largely mediated through consumerism. The extinction of the passenger pigeon, the stuffing of birds to adorn women's hats, and the rise and fall of the pink plastic flamingo are seen as milestones in an evolving ambivalence toward nature as aesthetic wonder and as resource to be pillaged. Price has degrees from Princeton and Yale (PhD. history).
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A quirky, brilliant debut book that explores the evolution of our relationship to nature and the ways in which we attach meaning to it today. Flight Maps should find its place on any bookshelf with the likes of David Quammen and John McPhee.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -300) and index.
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Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General