In A Dark Wood / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $11.84
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 67%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $11.84   
  • New (5) from $30.14   
  • Used (5) from $11.84   


In a Dark Wood presents a history of debates among ecologists over what constitutes good forestry, and a critique of the ecological reasoning behind contemporary strategies of preservation, including the Endangered Species Act. Chase argues that these strategies, in many instances adopted for political, rather than scientific reasons, fail to promote biological diversity and may actually harm more creatures than they help. At the same time, Chase offers examples of conservation strategies that work, but which are deemed politically incorrect and ignored.

In a Dark Wood provides the most thoughtful and complete account yet written of radical environmentalism. And it challenges the fundamental—but largely unexamined—assumptions of preservationism, such as those concerning whether there is a "balance of nature," whether all branches of ecology are really science, and whether ecosystems exist. In his new introduction, Chase evaluates the response to his book and reports on recent developments in environmental science, policy, and politics.

In a Dark Wood was judged by a recent national poll to be one of the one hundred best nonfiction books written in the English language during the twentieth century. A smashing good read, this book will be of interest to environmentalists, ecologists, philosophers, biologists, and bio-ethicists, and anyone concerned about ecological issues.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A gripping story." —New York Times "A must-read for those who care about the environment." —Wall Street Journal "If you walk in the woods, read this book. It will open your eyes to what you're actually seeing." —Men's Journal "Fascinating reading, impeccably researched, and powerful." —Kirkus Reviews "The single most profound—and alarming—book in three decades of environmental literature." —Orange County Register
When Chase's history of environmental politics first came out in 1995, critics praised it, readers went wild for it, and lots of people<-- >scientists, executives, environmental activists<-->were angered by it. But, as Chase (a former philosophy professor) notes in a new introduction, in the end the work "had absolutely no effect on public policy at all." That's a shame, because in describing the ongoing conflict over forests and threatened animals in the Pacific Northwest, Chase provides a startlingly clear view of why America will continue to lose landscapes and wild species: because its preservation policies rest on deeply flawed premises. It's a compellingly written narrative, full of the personalities involved in the conflict, as well as an important analysis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765807526
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/11/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 580
  • Sales rank: 694,187
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Alston Chase has written widely on natural history, the environment, and animal welfare. He is the author of Playing God in Yellowstone, In a Dark Wood, and Harvard and the Unabomber. Alston Chase has written widely on natural history, the environment, and animal welfare. He is the author of Playing God in Yellowstone, In a Dark Wood, and Harvard and the Unabomber.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
1 The Search for Nature 1
Pt. I Crisis: What Is Nature? 1960-1972
2 Cork Boot Fever 13
3 Mr. Redwood 25
4 The Eco Raiders 40
5 Rebels with a Cause 52
6 Life in the Peace Zone 67
Pt. II Discovery: Nature Is an Ancient Forest, 1973-1981
7 Building an Ark 79
8 A Law for All Seasons 94
9 A New Metaphor for Nature 105
10 The Birth of Biocentrism 119
11 The Owl Shrieked 131
12 The Reluctant Researchers 148
13 The New Forestry 165
Pt. III Response: The Biocentric Revolution, 1982-1990
14 Night on Bald Mountain 179
15 The Network 192
16 Wall Street Forestry 203
17 Occurrence at All Species Grove 215
18 The Age of Extremism 229
19 The Paradigm Shift 244
20 Wobblies and Yellow Ribbons 261
21 The Easter Sunday Massacre 274
22 Forests Forever 290
23 Fred, the Walking Rainbow 308
24 Stepping on an Anthill 322
25 Redwood Summer 334
Pt. IV Consequences: The Season of Our Uncertainty, 1991-
26 Diaspora 353
27 Home, Sweet Home 370
28 The Forest Summit 383
29 The Inferno 395
30 In a Dark Wood 409
Notes and Sources 425
Index 509
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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 December 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    I recommend this book to anyone that wants to understand the Environmental left and their deceitful tactics and general disregard for science. The book also walks you through the debacle that is the Endangered Species Act. It is very well written and very well cited. Reading anything by so called 'environmentalist' authors will underscore the assertions he makes in the book. And if you don't believe what he writes, just go up to an 'environmentalist,' mention that you think topics such as global warming are myths (whether or not you believe it, it's fun), and brace yourself for the zealous fervor and demagoguery that follows.

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

    Posted July 8, 2002


    While the author does an admirable job of thoroughly outlining one particular version of the history of the ecological/conservancy movement and of the fallacious assumptions in the popular spiritually-overtoned meanings of 'ecology' and 'ecosystem' within the USA, obvious flaws in this book include the lack: of evidence for his own assertions, of positive elements in the history, of any alternative suggestions to the efforts he critiques, and of any acknowledged culpability for man due to man's science-enhanced unnatural fecundity and destructiveness or man's innate avarice. The author also seems to forget that the most difficult systems to analyze are those in which one is an active member.

    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)