by Gene Logsdon
photographs by Gregory Spaid
foreword by Wendell Berry
Ohio University Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-8214-1407-1 | eISBN: 978-0-8214-4619-5 | Paper: 978-0-8214-2306-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3562.O453M36 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


Gene Logsdon’s The Man Who Created Paradise is a message of hope at a time when the very concept of earth stewardship is under attack. The fable, inspired by a true story, tells how Wally Spero looked at one of the bleakest places in America—a raw and barren strip-mined landscape—and saw in it his escape from the drudgery of his factory job. He bought an old bulldozer and used the machine to carve patiently, acre by acre, a beautiful little farm out of a seemingly worthless wasteland.

Wally’s story is a charming distillation of the themes that the late, beloved Gene Logsdon returned to again and again in his many books and hundreds of articles. Environmental restoration is the task of our time. The work of healing our land begins in our own backyards and farms, in our neighborhoods and our regions. Humans can turn the earth into a veritable paradise—if they really want to.

Noted photographer Gregory Spaid retraced the trail that Logsdon traveled when he was inspired to write The Man Who Created Paradise. His photographs evoke the same yearning for wholeness, for ties to land and community, that infuses the fable’s poetic prose.

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