Ecology of Eden: An Inquiry into the Dream of Paradise and a New Vision of Our Role in Nature / Edition 1by Evan Eisenberg
Pub. Date: 10/01/1999
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Images of paradise arise from the down-to-earth facts of our livesof our
For thousands of years, we have dreamed of going back to a time, to a placeEden, Arcadia, the Golden Ageto a paradise that we ourselves have never known. The Ecology of Eden is at once an inquiry into this dream and a startling new vision of humankind's role in nature.
Images of paradise arise from the down-to-earth facts of our livesof our relationship with land, water, air, other creatures, and other people. In turn, these images of paradise reshape our lives. Tracing this interplay, Eisenberg recasts Western history as a tragicomedy whose heroesGilgamesh and Henry Ford, Virgil and Louis XIV, Lorenzo the Magnificent and Frank Lloyd Wrightstruggle to regain a paradise lost. With elegance and refreshing wit, he shows how dreams of an earthly paradise both reflect and disguise our actual dealings with nature.
He illustrates, too, the shifting nature of nature itself: how alliances of speciesmost recently, alliances led by humankindhave continually remade the planet. Ranging gracefully from myth to molecular biology, from the Bible to urban studies, from garden lore to evolution, Eisenberg explores the actual circumstances of our exile from Eden.
The Ecology of Eden sheds a bold new light on present-day environmental problems, showing how we can make peace with our exile not by going back but by looking forward: by learning from nature itselfwith, perhaps, some help from Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parkerhow humans and nature can make tough, supple music together.
The profundity of this book's vision is made vivid by the richness of its scholarship, the surprise of its associations, theauthority of its engaging voice. Weaving humor with urgency, compassion with insight, Eisenberg succeeds in the rarest of achievements: allowing us to see the world with fresh eyes.
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