The Abstract Wild

( 2 )

Overview


If anything is endangered in America it is our experience of wild nature--gross contact. There is knowledge only the wild can give us, knowledge specific to it, knowledge specific to the experience of it. These are its gifts to us. How wild is wilderness and how wild are our experiences in it, asks Jack Turner in the pages of The Abstract Wild. His answer: not very wild. National parks and even so-called wilderness areas fall far short of offering the primal, mystic connection possible in wild places. And this ...
See more details below
Paperback
$11.84
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$17.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $2.13   
  • New (10) from $11.12   
  • Used (12) from $0.00   
Sending request ...

Overview


If anything is endangered in America it is our experience of wild nature--gross contact. There is knowledge only the wild can give us, knowledge specific to it, knowledge specific to the experience of it. These are its gifts to us. How wild is wilderness and how wild are our experiences in it, asks Jack Turner in the pages of The Abstract Wild. His answer: not very wild. National parks and even so-called wilderness areas fall far short of offering the primal, mystic connection possible in wild places. And this is so, Turner avows, because any managed land, never mind what it's called, ceases to be wild. Moreover, what little wildness we have left is fast being destroyed by the very systems designed to preserve it. Natural resource managers, conservation biologists, environmental economists, park rangers, zoo directors, and environmental activists: Turner's new book takes aim at these and all others who labor in the name of preservation. He argues for a new conservation ethic that focuses less on preserving things and more on preserving process and "leaving things be." He takes off after zoos and wilderness tourism with a vengeance, and he cautions us to resist language that calls a tree "a resource" and wilderness "a management unit." Eloquent and fast-paced, The Abstract Wild takes a long view to ask whether ecosystem management isn't "a bit of a sham" and the control of grizzlies and wolves "at best a travesty." Next, the author might bring his readers up-close for a look at pelicans, mountain lions, or Shamu the whale. From whatever angle, Turner stirs into his arguments the words of dozens of other American writers including Thoreau, Hemingway, Faulkner, and environmentalist Doug Peacock. We hunger for a kind of experience deep enough to change our selves, our form of life, writes Turner. Readers who take his words to heart will find, if not their selves, their perspectives on the natural world recast in ways that are hard to ignore and harder to forget.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Powerfully written essays on our relationship to wilderness. . . . This sometimes blistering, provocative, well-written book is an ecoradical's dream come true—and every reader concerned with wilderness issues should take it into account." —Kirkus Reviews"This is not a safe little treatise. It's a clarion call, a manifesto, a defense summation for the embattled, innocent, integrated world." —Western American Literature
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These eight provocative essays turn on a common theme: how wildness (once but no longer the essence of wilderness) has been mediated, micromanaged and abstracted nearly out of existence. The essays include rants against the status quo, memoirs of wild places and a tribute to Doug Peacock, who dared to live among grizzlies. Turner, a former academic who's now a mountain guide in the Grand Tetons, infuses his writing with a restless anger, best felt when read fast. At times, he exhibits a penchant for hyperbole ("Yosemite Valley is more like Coney Island than a wilderness"), and his tone can run a bit high-handed, as when he loftily compares his mountaineering to the predilections of pelicans. He is most persuasive when relying on the language of experience: coming upon a wall of prehistoric pictographs in a Utah canyon, tracking a mountain lion in Wyoming, listening to the clacking of soaring white pelicans. One essay, "Economic Nature," starkly reveals both Turner the pedant, excoriating the language of economics that controls the way we see the world, and Turner the meditative poet ("Dig in someplace.... Allow the spirits of your chosen place to speak through you. Say their names."). Both are persuasive. In the end, Turner has produced a manifesto that defends the wild by passionately restoring its good Thoreauvian name. (Oct.)
Booknews
An authoritative ethnohistory and compendium of medicinal herbs containing complete descriptions of herbs used by indigenous peoples of the region for the same purposes the Aztecs and 18th century explorers used them. Kay (U. of Arizona) relies on her anthropological and nursing experiences working with Mexican American women to bring both an academic and personal perspective to her introductory discussions of plants, and to the 100 plant descriptions that include botanical and common names, history, contemporary uses, preparation and administration, and phytochemical data. The appendices supply information on plant safety, and pharmacologically active phytochemicals. Includes a few line drawings. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816516995
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 637,229
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2002

    "In wildness is the preservation of the world." Thoreau

    A poignant description of the human condition wtih a personal perspective on how we have gotten here. Turner provides the reader with an insight that very few naturalist writers achieve due to the ever-changing ideas about the problems facing our existence and the abundance of supposed solutions. I came away more satisfied than ever that, as humans, we are refusing to accept our relationship within nature, that we are continuing to rapidly seperate ourselves from our environment while progressively(?!) insisting on our ability to control our surroundings. What struck me as most potent is the acknowledgement that we are removing all semblance of wildness around us and are becoming more and more disillusioned about what wild means. Losing touch with the inner sanctum of our own wild nature is catastrophic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2000

    Eloquent Frustration, but first hand experience

    Read this book if you want a different, first hand take on the idea of (W)ilderness or wilderness. Turner is as close as we have to a living Ed Abbey, but the Tetons are his desert, and he does them as much justice as Abbey ever did the Southwest. My only complaint is that he hasn't written more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)