Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire: An Illustrated Biography

Overview

Aldo Leopold, author of the classic A Sand County Almanac, founder of the field of wildlife management, and originator of the national wilderness system, is revealed in this short, illustrated biography by Marybeth Lorbiecki.

Leopold dedicated his life to answering the question: "How do we live on the land without spoiling it?" And his work and writings inspire millions of people in their continued pursuit of the answers.

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Overview

Aldo Leopold, author of the classic A Sand County Almanac, founder of the field of wildlife management, and originator of the national wilderness system, is revealed in this short, illustrated biography by Marybeth Lorbiecki.

Leopold dedicated his life to answering the question: "How do we live on the land without spoiling it?" And his work and writings inspire millions of people in their continued pursuit of the answers.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While not the first biography written about environmentalist Aldo Leopold (see Curt Meine's Aldo Leopold: His Life & Work, Univ. of Wisconsin, 1988), this one is definitely a worthwhile addition to the literature. Sufficient facts and context are provided to leave the reader informed yet not overburdened with detail. Environmental writer Lorbiecki does not offer much interpretation of events but rather allows us to see Leopold's development through description of his life and his own philosophical evolution. We see his emergence as a leader in wilderness preservation, and game and then wildlife management. We also see his development as a husband, father, and mentor. The presentation of Leopold's public and private lives is well balanced. He is portrayed here not as a saint but as a thinking man, willing to learn and change. Those unfamiliar with Leopold will relish this book; those who already know him will enjoy the retelling. This highly readable, lavishly illustrated biography is recommended for all environmental collections, public and academic.-Nancy J. Moeckel, Miami Univ. Libs, Oxford, Ohio
Booknews
This brief biography traces Leopold's development as a leader in the conservationist movement; explores his environmental writings, achievements, and philosophy; and examines his life as a husband and father. Leopold's daughter contributes her own personal reflections and many family photos. Lorbiecki has written numerous books and articles about environmental issues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762736638
  • Publisher: Falcon Press Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 3.74 (w) x 10.78 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Marybeth Lorbiecki is the author of numerous books and articles about environmental issues, including the John Burroughs Nature Award-winning biography of Aldo Leopold for children, Of Things Natural, Wild, and Free.

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Read an Excerpt

Aldo Leopold

A Fierce Green Fire
By Lorbiecki, Marybeth

Falcon

Copyright © 2005 Lorbiecki, Marybeth
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780762736638

Introduction

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.

--Foreword to A Sand County Almanac

For those of us who have often read A Sand County Almanac, these words are as familiar and beloved as our backpacks, canoes, and walking sticks. They evoke that other world in which we shake off the burdens of overstuffed calendars, eye-straining computers, bleeping answering machines, dull textbooks, and traffic. The words urge us to rethink who we are and how we are living.
For those who have not read the Almanac, nor heard of Aldo Leopold, his words may sound like those of a contemporary environmentalist. They should. Though Leopold died in 1948, his writings, research, and teaching have formed the framework of discussions about land use for more than half a decade.
Leopold is internationally recognized as the father of modern wildlife management and ecology and the chair of the field's first university department. His textbook, Game Management, was the definitive text for decades; it has been recentlyreprinted. As for A Sand County Almanac, Leopold's book of personal essays, it has sold over a million copies and has been translated into German, French, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese. It has been dubbed "the environmentalists' bible," and Leopold has been hailed as an American prophet.
Leopold's influence, however, goes far beyond the Almanac and 0Game Management. More than five hundred of his essays, articles, handbooks, reviews, and newsletters were published in his lifetime, and nearly as many remain unpublished or are currently under consideration for publication (not including his letters and journals). He was a member of more than a hundred clubs and societies, many of which continue to follow the course Leopold set. The first wilderness area in a national forest, and thus beginning of our wilderness system, was also the work of Leopold.
It's hard to say what American landscape might look like if Aldo Leopold hadn't come along when he did. His discoveries and policy recommendations drove forward the emerging fields of forestry, soil conservation, wildlife study and management, ecology, wilderness protection, land restoration, and environmental ethics.
Yet how many Americans have ever heard of Leopold?
Relatively few. Perhaps he was involved in too many aspects of the conservation movement to be pigeonholed into an easily remembered historical slot. Perhaps he has not joined Thoreau in American folk history because his writings challenge cultural rather than just individual assumptions: he wrote that "to change ideas about what land is for is to change ideas about what anything is for."
Whatever the reason, the majority of Americans have not yet been introduced to this person who has been so influential in their lives. Even many Almanac devotees know little about how Leopold's thinking evolved, or about his life. This is a shame; it is a life well worth knowing.
Leopold wasn't born inspired, and he didn't achieve a long string of school degrees. He followed his curiosity, made mistakes, and ate his words more than once. He summed up for many the questions, the conflicts, and the longings of an ecological approach to life.
Aldo Leopold's greatest dream was to learn how to live on the land without spoiling it. In his life and writings, he came closer than most of us will ever come. That is, unless we too let the land settle into our bones.


Continues...

Excerpted from Aldo Leopold by Lorbiecki, Marybeth Copyright © 2005 by Lorbiecki, Marybeth. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Solid insight into the birth of American environmentalism

    Leopold revolutionized Americans' thinking about the environment. Although he was trained to be a Forester in the traditions of the Yale school and Gifford Pinchot's legacy, Leopold saw the shortcomings of his understanding of conservation. Lorbeicki shows how and explains why Leopold made the leap to an ecological perspective informed by an ethical stance toward nature. Her work also has the advantage of being brief and to the point.

    I teach American environmental history, and this is the best work out there if you want to find out more about this giant figure in the development of environmentalism without wading through a 500 page magnum opus.

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