Environmental Stewardship: Images from Popular Culture / Edition 1

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This work addresses the cultural background of stewardship as a progression from individual personal aesthetics to a deeply informed environmental ethic that could become a national environmental policy. Howell begins by assessing our personal cultural background and our philosophical notions of our role in the natural world. She looks at the evolution of Western civilization and changing worldviews in relation to nature, examining especially early conceptions of a more appealing, simpler life closer to nature in contrast to the perceived civilized world that is portrayed as decadent. Howell examines archetypes from literature and the popular arts, finding examples in Jungian psychology and in contemporary film and television that support the Wild Man image and promote the Simple Life yearning. She then looks at the early 20th-century conservation and preservation writers as the most direct ancestors of today's environmental movement and an immediate source of inspiration.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Howell begins this fascinating book with a discussion of two films, Local Hero and On Deadly Ground, showing how in various manifestations of popular culture, 'each of us is either endowed with or searching for an environmental aesthetic. Howell argeus that people search for an expression of connection with nature in the popular media, and that this 'sacred journey' leads to better environmental policy. . . . [T]his ambitious and engrossing book presents a new understabding of its topic and is well worth reading. All general and academic collections."



"[H]arden's offering has the strength of providing a highly readable overview of Columbia River history colored by portrayals of actual participants in an important sector of the region's history. Because of this accessibility, the work will serve students of environmental history and those of regional and United States history generally well."


Environmental History

"[T]he author offers a number of insightful concepts and arguments. . . . Many of Howell's points are extremely thought-provoking."


Environment Education Research

The author, formerly an applied microbial ecologist, is a Ph.D. candidate in environmental studies. Here she covers lots of cultural ground, beginning with the origins of the Western tradition and continuing with discussion of ideas about the "simple life," the "noble savage," lessons from beyond America's Western tradition, Amerindian perspectives, and popular culture<-->Tarzan and his descendants. She concludes with recommendations for defining both a personal and a national environmental ethic. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897893916
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

DOROTHY J. HOWELL, formerly an applied microbial ecologist, environmental counsel and educator, is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch New England Graduate School.

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Table of Contents

1 Origins of the Western Tradition
2 Europe in the Continuum of Western Tradition
3 Tradition and the Founding of a Nation
4 Repercussions: Expression and Implications of Alienation
5 Emergence of the Simple Life
6 Sciences, Art, and Literature
7 Heroes, Wild Men, and the Noble Savage
8 Lessons from beyond America's Western Tradition
9 Images from Our First Nations
10 Contemporary Amerindian Perspectives
11 A Sense of Place
12 Place and Ambivalence in the Popular Arts
13 Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan of the Apes: Timeless Surrogate
14 Related Contemporaries and Descendants of Tarzan
15 The Ape-Man's Modern Descendants and Remote Relatives
16 The Human Niche and Defining a Personal Environmental Ethic
17 Cultural Sources for a Restored Relationship
18 Toward a National Environmental Ethic
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