Taking advantage of recent advances throughout the sciences, Matthew Hedman brings the distant past closer to us than it has ever been. Here, he shows how scientists have determined the age of everything from the colonization of the New World over 13,000 years ago to the origin of the universe nearly fourteen billion years ago.
Hedman details, for example, how interdisciplinary studies of the Great Pyramids of Egypt can determine exactly when and how these incredible structures were built. He shows how the remains of humble trees can illuminate how the surface of the sun has changed over the past ten millennia. And he also explores how the origins of the earth, solar system, and universe are being discerned with help from rocks that fall from the sky, the light from distant stars, and even the static seen on television sets.
Covering a wide range of time scales, from the Big Bang to human history, The Age of Everything is a provocative and far-ranging look at how science has determined the age of everything from modern mammals to the oldest stars, and will be indispensable for all armchair time travelers.
“We are used to being told confidently of an enormous, measurable past: that some collection of dusty bones is tens of thousands of years old, or that astronomical bodies have an age of some billions. But how exactly do scientists come to know these things? That is the subject of this quite fascinating book. . . . As told by Hedman, an astronomer, each story is a marvel of compressed exegesis that takes into account some of the most modern and intriguing hypotheses.”—Steven Poole, Guardian
“Hedman is worth reading because he is careful to present both the power and peril of trying to extract precise chronological data. These are all very active areas of study, and as you read Hedman you begin to see how researchers have to be both very careful and incredibly audacious, and how much of our understanding of ourselves—through history, through paleontology, through astronomy—depends on determining the age of everything.”—Anthony Doerr, BostonGlobe
The Revolution’s aspiration was summed up by the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet the American founding was also a bid for inclusion in the community of nations. According to Eliga Gould, America aspired to diplomatic recognition under international law and the authority to become an Atlantic colonizing power itself.
The contributors to The Anomie of the Earth explore the convergences and resonances between Autonomist Marxism and decolonial thinking. In discussing and rejecting Carl Schmitt's formulation of the nomos—a conceptualization of world order based on the Western tenets of law and property—the authors question the assumption of universal political subjects and look towards politics of the commons divorced from European notions of sovereignty. They contrast European Autonomism with North and South American decolonial and indigenous conceptions of autonomy, discuss the legacies of each, and examine social movements in the Americas and Europe. Beyond orthodox Marxism, their transatlantic exchanges point to the emerging categories disclosed by the collapse of the colonial and capitalist frameworks of Western modernity.
Contributors. Joost de Bloois, Jodi A. Byrd, Gustavo Esteva, Silvia Federici, Wilson Kaiser, Mara Kaufman, Frans-Willem Korsten, Federico Luisetti, Sandro Mezzadra, Walter D. Mignolo, Benjamin Noys, John Pickles, Alvaro Reyes, Catherine Walsh, Gareth Williams, Zac Zimmer
Another Day on Earth
Timothy Dekin Northwestern University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS3554.E428A56 2002 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
This collection of poems emerges as a work of unusual emotional and spiritual clarity and beauty. Before his death Timothy Dekin fashioned a contemporary style based on the pentameter line and the song forms of the English Renaissance poets, and his confessional tone and range of experience from thoughts on mortality and self-worth, struggles with alcoholism, and failings of family love to a Buddhist-like oneness with nature make for a striking combination.
Carpeted in boreal forests, dotted with lakes, cut by rivers, and straddling the Arctic Circle, the region surrounding the White Sea, which is known as the Russian North, is sparsely populated and immensely isolated. It is also the home to architectural marvels, as many of the original wooden and brick churches and homes in the region's ancient villages and towns still stand. Featuring nearly two hundred full color photographs of these beautiful centuries-old structures, Architecture at the End of the Earth is the most recent addition to William Craft Brumfield's ongoing project to photographically document all aspects of Russian architecture.
The architectural masterpieces Brumfield photographed are diverse: they range from humble chapels to grand cathedrals, buildings that are either dilapidated or well cared for, and structures repurposed during the Soviet era. Included are onion-domed wooden churches such as the Church of the Dormition, built in 1674 in Varzuga; the massive walled Transfiguration Monastery on Great Solovetsky Island, which dates to the mid-1550s; the Ferapontov-Nativity Monastery's frescoes, painted in 1502 by Dionisy, one of Russia's greatest medieval painters; nineteenth-century log houses, both rustic and ornate; and the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Vologda, which was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 1560s. The text that introduces the photographs outlines the region's significance to Russian history and culture.
Brumfield is challenged by the immense difficulty of accessing the Russian North, and recounts traversing sketchy roads, crossing silt-clogged rivers on barges and ferries, improvising travel arrangements, being delayed by severe snowstorms, and seeing the region from the air aboard the small planes he needs to reach remote areas.
The buildings Brumfield photographed, some of which lie in near ruin, are at constant risk due to local indifference and vandalism, a lack of maintenance funds, clumsy restorations, or changes in local and national priorities. Brumfield is concerned with their futures and hopes that the region's beautiful and vulnerable achievements of master Russian carpenters will be preserved. Architecture at the End of the Earth is at once an art book, a travel guide, and a personal document about the discovery of this bleak but beautiful region of Russia that most readers will see here for the first time.
Humans have lived in close proximity to other animals for thousands of years. Recent scientific studies have even shown that the presence of animals has a positive effect on our physical and mental health. People with pets typically have lower blood pressure, show fewer symptoms of depression, and tend to get more exercise.
But there is a darker side to the relationship between animals and humans. Animals are carriers of harmful infectious agents and the source of a myriad of human diseases. In recent years, the emergence of high-profile illnesses such as AIDS, SARS, West Nile virus, and bird flu has drawn much public attention, but as E. Fuller Torrey and Robert H. Yolken reveal, the transfer of deadly microbes from animals to humans is neither a new nor an easily avoided problem.
Beginning with the domestication of farm animals nearly 10,000 years ago, Beasts of the Earth traces the ways that human-animal contact has evolved over time. Today, shared living quarters, overlapping ecosystems, and experimental surgical practices where organs or tissues are transplanted from non-humans into humans continue to open new avenues for the transmission of infectious agents. Other changes in human behavior like increased air travel, automated food processing, and threats of bioterrorism are increasing the contagion factor by transporting microbes further distances and to larger populations in virtually no time at all.
While the authors urge that a better understanding of past diseases may help us lessen the severity of some illnesses, they also warn that, given our increasingly crowded planet, it is not a question of if but when and how often animal-transmitted diseases will pose serious challenges to human health in the future.
"Betting the Earth explores the uneasy parallels between our contemporary environmental challenges and our national fascination with gambling. How much should we bet on preserving biodiversity? Should we bet more on responding to climate change? where should we place each bet: on federal or state laws, on acquiring public or private preserves, on preventing environmental harms or saving places of special environmental significance? Like it or not, we must make such choices every day, and Betting the Earth helps us to understand how we do so."
Professor John Copeland Nagle, John N. Matthews Chair in Law, University of Notre Dame Law School
Our economies must react. "Sustainable behavior must pay off" - this is one of the central tenets of The Sustainability Project. Costing the Earth: Restructuring the Economy for Sustainable Development outlines the economic conditions for achieving the goal of sustainable development, in Europe and around the world. It also explains the incentives for sustainable economic management using economic tools.
"A rich historical pastiche of 17th- and 18th-century philosophy, science, and religion."—G. Y. Craig, New Scientist
"This book, by a distinguished Italian historian of philosophy, is a worthy successor to the author's important works on Francis Bacon and on technology and the arts. First published in Italian (in 1979), it now makes available to English readers some subtly wrought arguments about the ways in which geology and anthropology challenged biblical chronology and forced changes in the philosophy of history in the early modern era. . . . [Rossi] shows that the search for new answers about human origins spanned many disciplines and involved many fascinating intellects—Bacon, Bayle, Buffon, Burnet, Descartes, Hobbes, Holbach, Hooke, Hume, Hutton, Leibniz, de Maillet, Newton, Pufendorf, Spinoza, Toland, and, most especially, Vico, whose works are impressively and freshly reevaluated here."—Nina Gelbart, American Scientist
Now available in paperback, Days on Earth--originally published in 1988 (Yale University Press)--traces the dance career and artistic development of one of the founders of American modern dance. In this biography of dance pioneer Doris Humphrey, Marcia B. Siegel follows Humphrey's career from her days with the Denishawn Company (among fellos students like Martha Graham) to her creative partnership with Charles Weidman to her tenure as artistic director of protégé José Limon's dance company. Siegel's reconsideration and description of Humphrey's dances, including many that are no longer performed, sheds important light on this pathbreaking dancer/choreographer.
Since humans first appeared on the earth, we've been cutting down trees for fuel and shelter. Indeed, the thinning, changing, and wholesale clearing of forests are among the most important ways humans have transformed the global environment. With the onset of industrialization and colonization the process has accelerated, as agriculture, metal smelting, trade, war, territorial expansion, and even cultural aversion to forests have all taken their toll.
Michael Williams surveys ten thousand years of history to trace how, why, and when human-induced deforestation has shaped economies, societies, and landscapes around the world. Beginning with the return of the forests to Europe, North America, and the tropics after the Ice Ages, Williams traces the impact of human-set fires for gathering and hunting, land clearing for agriculture, and other activities from the Paleolithic through the classical world and the Middle Ages. He then continues the story from the 1500s to the early 1900s, focusing on forest clearing both within Europe and by European imperialists and industrialists abroad, in such places as the New World and India, China, Japan, and Latin America. Finally, he covers the present-day and alarming escalation of deforestation, with the ever-increasing human population placing a possibly unsupportable burden on the world's forests.
Accessible and nonsensationalist, Deforesting the Earth provides the historical and geographical background we need for a deeper understanding of deforestation's tremendous impact on the environment and the people who inhabit it.
“Anyone who doubts the power of history to inform the present should read this closely argued and sweeping survey. This is rich, timely, and sobering historical fare written in a measured, non-sensationalist style by a master of his craft. One only hopes (almost certainly vainly) that today’s policymakers take its lessons to heart.”—Brian Fagan, Los AngelesTimes
Published in 2002, Deforesting the Earth was a landmark study of the history and geography of deforestation. Now available as an abridgment, this edition retains the breadth of the original while rendering its arguments accessible to a general readership.
Deforestation—the thinning, changing, and wholesale clearing of forests for fuel, shelter, and agriculture—is among the most important ways humans have transformed the environment. Surveying ten thousand years to trace human-induced deforestation’s effect on economies, societies, and landscapes around the world, Deforesting the Earth is the preeminent history of this process and its consequences.
Beginning with the return of the forests after the ice age to Europe, North America, and the tropics, Michael Williams traces the impact of human-set fires for gathering and hunting, land clearing for agriculture, and other activities from the Paleolithic age through the classical world and the medieval period. He then focuses on forest clearing both within Europe and by European imperialists and industrialists abroad, from the 1500s to the early 1900s, in such places as the New World, India, and Latin America, and considers indigenous clearing in India, China, and Japan. Finally, he covers the current alarming escalation of deforestation, with our ever-increasing human population placing a potentially unsupportable burden on the world’s forests.
Down to Earth presents the first comprehensive overview of the geopolitical maneuvers, financial investments, technological innovations, and ideological struggles that take place behind the scenes of the satellite industry. Satellite projects that have not received extensive coverage—microsatellites in China, WorldSpace in South Africa, SiriusXM, the failures of USA 193 and Cosmos 954, and Iridium—are explored. This collection takes readers on a voyage through a truly global industry, from the sites where satellites are launched to the corporate clean rooms where they are designed, and along the orbits and paths that satellites traverse. Combining a practical introduction to the mechanics of the satellite industry, a history of how its practices and technologies have evolved, and a sophisticated theoretical analysis of satellite cultures, Down to Earth opens up a new space for global media studies.
Earth and Mars: A Reflection
Stephen E. Strom and Bradford A. Smith University of Arizona Press, 2015 Library of Congress GB403.S87 2015 | Dewey Decimal 550
Nearly five billion years ago, Earth and Mars were born together as planetary siblings orbiting a young, emerging Sun. Yet today, one planet is water rich and life bearing, while the other is seemingly cold, dry, and forbidding.
Earth and Mars is a fusion of art and science, a blend of images and essays celebrating the successful creation of our life-sustaining planet and the beauty and mystery of Mars. Through images of terrestrial landscapes and photographs selected from recent NASA and European Space Agency missions to Mars, Earth and Mars reveals the profound beauty resulting from the action of volcanism, wind, and water. The accompanying text provides a context for appreciating the role of these elemental forces in shaping the surfaces of each planet, as well as the divergent evolutionary paths that led to an Earth that is teeming with life, and Mars that is seemingly lifeless.
Earth and Mars inspires reflection on the extraordinarily delicate balance of forces that has resulted in our good fortune: to be alive and sentient on a bountiful blue world.
In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education.
Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical; deadens the sense of wonder for the created world.
The crisis we face, Orr explains, is one of mind, perception, and values. It is, first and foremost, an educational challenge.
The author begins by establishing the grounds for a debate about education and knowledge. He describes the problems of education from an ecological perspective, and challenges the "terrible simplifiers" who wish to substitute numbers for values. He follows with a presentation of principles for re-creating education in the broadest way possible, discussing topics such as biophilia, the disciplinary structure of knowledge, the architecture of educational buildings, and the idea of ecological intelligence. Orr concludes by presenting concrete proposals for reorganizing the curriculum to draw out our affinity for life.
"What about the twenty-first century? Will we finally accept our responsibilities as guardians of planet Earth, the biological living trust, for the beneficiaries, the children of today, tomorrow, and beyond? Or, will it too be a century of lethal, economic struggle among the polarized positions of the supremely dysfunctional among us? Are they—once again—to be allowed to determine the legacy we, as a society, as a nation, bequeath those who follow us? The choice is ours, the adults of the world. How shall we choose?"
So writes Chris Maser in this compelling study of three interactive spheres of the ecosystem: atmosphere (air), litho-hydrosphere (rock that comprises the restless continents and the water that surrounds them), and biosphere (all life sandwiched in between).
Rich in detail and insightful analogies, Earth in Our Care addresses key issues including land-use policies, ecological restoration, forest management, local living, and sustainability thinking. Exploring our interconnectedness with the Earth, Maser examines today's problems and, more importantly, provides solutions for the future.
Population growth mainly occurs in fast-developing, and developing nations. Can earth sustain this growth? How will the power shift? This book offers prospects on causes and effects of population growth and the age-ing population in industrialised countries.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, geology—and its claims that the earth had a long and colorful prehuman history—was widely dismissedasdangerous nonsense. But just fifty years later, it was the most celebrated of Victorian sciences. Ralph O’Connor tracks the astonishing growth of geology’s prestige in Britain, exploring how a new geohistory far more alluring than the standard six days of Creation was assembled and sold to the wider Bible-reading public.
Shrewd science-writers, O’Connor shows, marketed spectacular visions of past worlds, piquing the public imagination with glimpses of man-eating mammoths, talking dinosaurs, and sea-dragons spawned by Satan himself. These authors—including men of science, women, clergymen, biblical literalists, hack writers, blackmailers, and prophets—borrowed freely from the Bible, modern poetry, and the urban entertainment industry, creating new forms of literature in order to transport their readers into a vanished and alien past.
In exploring the use of poetry and spectacle in the promotion of popular science, O’Connor proves that geology’s success owed much to the literary techniques of its authors. An innovative blend of the history of science, literary criticism, book history, and visual culture, The Earth on Show rethinks the relationship between science and literature in the nineteenth century.
As our economic and natural systems continue on their collision course, Bruce Jennings asks whether we have the political capacity to avoid large-scale environmental disaster. Can liberal democracy, he wonders, respond in time to ecological challenges that require dramatic changes in the way we approach the natural world? Must a more effective governance be less democratic and more autocratic? Or can a new form of grassroots ecological democracy save us from ourselves and the false promises of material consumption run amok?
Ecological Governance is an ethicist’s reckoning with how our political culture, broadly construed, must change in response to climate change. Jennings argues that during the Anthropocene era a social contract of consumption has been forged. Under it people have given political and economic control to elites in exchange for the promise of economic growth. In a new political economy of the future, the terms of the consumptive contract cannot be met without severe ecological damage. We will need a new guiding vision and collective aim, a new social contract of ecological trusteeship and responsibility.
How did life emerge on Earth? Is there life on other worlds? These questions, until recently confined to the pages of speculative essays and tabloid headlines, are now the subject of legitimate scientific research. This book presents a unique perspective--a combined historical, scientific, and philosophical anaylsis, which does justice to the complex nature of the subject. The book's first part offers an overview of the main ideas on the origin of life as they developed from antiquity until the twentieth century. The second, more detailed part of the book examines contemporary theories and major debates within the origin-of-life scientific community.
Aristotle and the Greek atomists' conceptions of the organism
Alexander Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane's 1920s breakthrough papers
"Essential reading for people in disciplines ranging from philosophy to biology. It is simply the best general book that I know on the question of the origin of life."
--Michael Ruse, author of Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction?
"Fry has fashioned a masterful account of the history, philosophy, and science of the origin of life and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Her story weaves profound Western ideas of who we are and where we came from, from Aristotle to Gould, from Kant to NASA."
--Woodruff Sullivan, University of Washington
"A rich source for the specialist and thought-provoking reading for the lay person."
--Gunter Wachtershauser, University of Regensburg, Germany
How did life emerge on Earth? Is there life on other worlds? These questions, until recently confined to the pages of speculative essays and tabloid headlines, are now the subject of legitimate scientific research. This book presents a unique perspective--a combined historical, scientific, and philosophical anaylsis, which does justice to the complex nature of the subject. The book's first part offers an overview of the main ideas on the origin of life as they developed from antiquity until the twentieth century. The second, more detailed part of the book examines contemporary theories and major debates within the origin-of-life scientific community.
- Aristotle and the Greek atomists' conceptions of the organism
- Alexander Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane's 1920s breakthrough papers
- Possible life on Mars?
An author, foreign correspondent, academic, and television personality, Roger Willemsen is a familiar figure in Germany, and The Ends of the Earth offers English-language readers a chance to engage with his uniquely astute take on the world. Consisting of twenty-two essays recounting and reflecting on a lifetime of travel to the far and forgotten corners of our planet, the book offers remarkable encounters and mysterious entanglements in locations as diverse as a Kamchatkan volcano, a Burmese railway station, an Arctic icebreaker, and a Minsk hospital ward. Willemsen is the perfect companion, reveling in the strange and unlovely, and tracing unexpected connections among places, times, and peoples.
Ends of the Earth: Poems
Kate Partridge University of Alaska Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3616.A7847A6 2017 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Ends of the Earth uses the landscape of Alaska as a testing ground for love and elegy. It is a poetry collection that contains both lyric responses to the urban Alaska environment and extended sequences that cycle between autobiography, mythic allusion, and the literary archive. In her work, Kate Partridge combines the fresh perspective of a newcomer with explorations of the landscape and lifestyles through allusions to classic literature.
While the poems turn an inquisitive, contemporary lens to the subject of Alaska, elements throughout the book are influenced by twentieth-century writers like Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore. The manuscript also combines personal experience with collaged material from the Epic of Gilgamesh, Walt Whitman's notebooks, and other classic sources, to investigate the ideas of love, isolation, and location. Through humor and observation, Partridge takes a new look at what it means to live in urban Alaska and the world at large.
Environmental Restoration is the product of a ground-breaking conference on ecological restoration, held in January 1988 at the University of California, Berkeley. It offers an overview from the nation's leading experts of the most current techniques of restoration, including examples of the complex and subtle biological interactions we must understand to ensure success.Chapters cover restoration of agricultural lands, barrens, coastal ecosystems, prairies, and range lands. Additional sections address temperate forests and watersheds, mined lands, soil bioengineering, urban issues including waste treatment and solid, toxic, and radioactive waste management. The book also covers restoration of aquatic systems, includes chapters on strategic planning and land acquisition, and provides examples of successful projects.
Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio includes some of the best regional poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from forty contemporary writers, both established and up-and-coming. The wide range of material from authors such as David Baker, Don Bogen, Michelle Burke, Richard Hague, Donald Ray Pollock, and others, offers the reader a window into daily life in the region. The people, the landscape, the struggles, and the deepest undercurrents of what it means to be from and of a place are revealed in these original, deeply moving, and sometimes shocking pieces.
The book is divided into four sections: Family & Folks, The Land, The Grind, and Home & Away, each of which explores a different aspect of the place that these authors call home. The sections work together beautifully to capture what it means to live, to love, and to die in this particular slice of Appalachia. The writing is accessible and often emotionally raw; Every River on Earth invites all types of readers and conveys a profound appreciation of the region’s character.
The authors also offer personal statements about their writing, allowing the reader an intimate insight into their processes, aesthetics, and inspirations. What is it to be an Appalachian? What is it to be an Appalachian in Ohio? This book vividly paints that picture.
Every River on Earth
David Lee Garrison
I look out the window and see
through the neighbor’s window
to an Amish buggy
where three children are peeping back,
and in their eyes I see the darkness
of plowed earth hiding seed.
Wind pokes the land in winter,
trying to waken it,
and in the melting snow
I see rainbows and in them
every river on earth. I see all the way
to the ocean, where sand and stones
embrace each falling wave
and reach back to gather it in.
As long as there have been maps, cartographers have grappled with the impossibility of portraying the earth in two dimensions. To solve this problem mapmakers have created hundreds of map projections, mathematical methods for drawing the round earth on a flat surface. Yet of the hundreds of existing projections, and the infinite number that are theoretically possible, none is perfectly accurate.
Flattening the Earth is the first detailed history of map projections since 1863. John P. Snyder discusses and illustrates the hundreds of known projections created from 500 B.C. to the present, emphasizing developments since the Renaissance and closing with a look at the variety of projections made possible by computers.
The book contains 170 illustrations, including outline maps from original sources and modern computerized reconstructions. Though the text is not mathematically based, a few equations are included to permit the more technical reader to plot some projections. Tables summarize the features of nearly two hundred different projections and list those used in nineteenth-and twentieth-century atlases.
"This book is unique and significant: a thorough, well-organized, and insightful history of map projections. Snyder is the world's foremost authority on the subject and a significant innovator in his own right."—Mark Monmonier, author of How to Lie with Maps and Mapping It Out: Expository Cartography for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
This book covers all aspects of foliage penetration (FOPEN) radar, concentrating on both airborne military radar systems as well as earth resource mapping radars. It is the first concise and thorough treatment of FOPEN, covering the results of a decade-long investment by DARPA in characterizing foliage and earth surface with ultrawideband UHF and VHF synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Comparisons of the technologies for radar design and signal processing are presented, as are specific design approaches for transmitter design for operation in a dense radio frequency spectrum. Adaptive processing to remove the effects of radio and television signals from the system are also covered. In 10 years, FOPEN systems will find use in crop monitoring, land mine remediation, and creating digital maps under trees. This book will be the foundation for continued research for years to come both for radar and systems engineers in defense and earth resources companies. Government researchers, program managers and planners who have an interest in the unique capabilities of this radar technology, as well as university staff and faculty teaching radar and signal processing will find this book a critical part of their learning for years to come.
A unique and discursive history of gardens and their significance across a wide range of cultures, Gardens of Heaven and Earth explores the meanings behind our efforts to maintain, manipulate and ornament our environment. Drawing particular inspiration from the work of the eighteenth-century Swedish philosopher and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, this book explores the symbolism of gardens and their use—by Swedenborg and by others—as a metaphor for a model of heaven.
Gardens of Heaven and Earth is a lyrical study that investigates the nature of experience, the limitations of language and ideas of the garden as both a relationship to be experienced and as a symbolic language to be read. Discussing gardens in relation to the life and writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, this short work brings a fresh perspective to the roles that gardens have played in delighting and sustaining the human condition throughout the ages.
This volume is augmented by three black-and white-illustrations and also contains a chronology of Swedenborg’s life and works, an inventory of Swedenborg’s own garden in Stockholm, a bibliography, and an index.
“Step right up!” and buy a ticket to the Greatest Show on Earth—the Big Top, containing death-defying stunts, dancing bears, roaring tigers, and trumpeting elephants. The circus has always been home to the dazzling and the exotic, the improbable and the impossible—a place of myth and romance, of reinvention, rebirth, second acts, and new identities. Asking why we long to soar on flying trapezes, ride bareback on spangled horses, and parade through the streets in costumes of glitter and gold, this captivating book illuminates the history of the circus and the claim it has on the imaginations of artists, writers, and people around the world.
Traveling back to the circus’s early days, Linda Simon takes us to eighteenth-century hippodromes in Great Britain and intimate one-ring circuses in nineteenth-century Paris, where Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso became enchanted with aerialists and clowns. She introduces us to P. T. Barnum, James Bailey, and the enterprising Ringling Brothers and reveals how they created the golden age of American circuses. Moving forward to the whimsical Circus Oz in Australia and to New York City’s Big Apple Circus and the grand spectacle of Cirque du Soleil, she shows how the circus has transformed in recent years. At the center of the story are the people—trick riders and tightrope walkers, sword swallowers and animal trainers, contortionists and clowns—that created the sensational, raucous, and sometimes titillating world of the circus.
Beautifully illustrated and filled with rich historical detail and colorful anecdotes, The Greatest Shows on Earth is a vibrant history for all those who have ever dreamed of running away to the circus.
HandiLand looks at young adult novels, fantasy series, graphic memoirs, and picture books of the last 25 years in which characters with disabilities take center stage for the first time. These books take what others regard as weaknesses—for instance, Harry Potter’s headaches or Hazel Lancaster’s oxygen tank—and redefine them as part of the hero’s journey. HandiLand places this movement from sidekick to hero in the political contexts of disability rights movements in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.
Elizabeth A. Wheeler invokes the fantasy of HandiLand, an ideal society ready for young people with disabilities before they get there, as a yardstick to measure how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go toward the goal of total inclusion. The book moves through the public spaces young people with disabilities have entered, including schools, nature, and online communities. As a disabled person and parent of children with disabilities, Wheeler offers an inside look into families who collude with their kids in shaping a better world. Moving, funny, and beautifully written, HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth is the definitive study of disability in contemporary literature for young readers.
The Heavens on Earth explores the place of the observatory in nineteenth-century science and culture. Astronomy was a core pursuit for observatories, but usually not the only one. It belonged to a larger group of “observatory sciences” that also included geodesy, meteorology, geomagnetism, and even parts of physics and statistics. These pursuits coexisted in the nineteenth-century observatory; this collection surveys them as a coherent whole. Broadening the focus beyond the solitary astronomer at his telescope, it illuminates the observatory’s importance to technological, military, political, and colonial undertakings, as well as in advancing and popularizing the mathematical, physical, and cosmological sciences.
The contributors examine “observatory techniques” developed and used not only in connection with observatories but also by instrument makers in their workshops, navy officers on ships, civil engineers in the field, and many others. These techniques included the calibration and coordination of precision instruments for making observations and taking measurements; methods of data acquisition and tabulation; and the production of maps, drawings, and photographs, as well as numerical, textual, and visual representations of the heavens and the earth. They also encompassed the social management of personnel within observatories, the coordination of international scientific collaborations, and interactions with dignitaries and the public. The state observatory occupied a particularly privileged place in the life of the city. With their imposing architecture and ancient traditions, state observatories served representative purposes for their patrons, whether as symbols of a monarch’s enlightened power, a nation’s industrial and scientific excellence, or republican progressive values. Focusing on observatory techniques in settings from Berlin, London, Paris, and Rome to Australia, Russia, Thailand, and the United States, The Heavens on Earth is a major contribution to the history of science.
Contributors: David Aubin, Charlotte Bigg, Guy Boistel, Theresa Levitt, Massimo Mazzotti, Ole Molvig, Simon Schaffer, Martina Schiavon , H. Otto Sibum, Richard Staley, John Tresch, Simon Werrett, Sven Widmalm
Hope on Earth: A Conversation
Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress QH541.145.H665 2014 | Dewey Decimal 577
Hope on Earth is the thought-provoking result of a lively and wide-ranging conversation between two of the world’s leading interdisciplinary environmental scientists: Paul R. Ehrlich, whose book The Population Bomb shook the world in 1968 (and continues to shake it), and Michael Charles Tobias, whose over 40 books and 150 films have been read and/or viewed throughout the world. Hope on Earth offers a rare opportunity to listen in as these deeply knowledgeable and highly creative thinkers offer their takes on the most pressing environmental concerns of the moment.
Both Ehrlich and Tobias argue that we are on the verge of environmental catastrophe, as the human population continues to grow without restraint and without significant attempts to deal with overconsumption and the vast depletion of resources and climate problems it creates. Though their views are sympathetic, they differ in their approach and in some key moral stances, giving rise to a heated and engaging dialogue that opens up dozens of new avenues of exploration. They both believe that the impact of a human society on its environment is the direct result of its population size, and through their dialogue they break down the complex social problems that are wrapped up in this idea and attempts to overcome it, hitting firmly upon many controversial topics such as circumcision, religion, reproduction, abortion, animal rights, diet, and gun control. For Ehrlich and Tobias, ethics involve not only how we treat other people directly, but how we treat them and other organisms indirectly through our effects on the environment. University of California, Berkeley professor John Harte joins the duo for part of the conversation, and his substantial expertise on energy and climate change adds a crucial perspective to the discussion of the impact of population on global warming.
This engaging and timely book invites readers into an intimate conversation with some of the most eminent voices in science as they offer a powerful and approachable argument that the ethical and scientific issues involved in solving our environmental crisis are deeply intertwined, while offering us an optimistic way forward. Hope on Earth is indeed a conversation we should all be having.
On December 7, 2011, Mark Hertsgaard participated in The National Climate Seminar, a series of webinars sponsored by Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy. The online seminars provide a forum for leading scientists, writers, and other experts to talk about critical issues regarding climate change. The series also opens a public conversation, inviting participants to ask questions and contribute their own thoughts.
Hertsgaard has spent the last two decades reporting on climate change for media outlets including The New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Nation, where he is the environment correspondent. His lecture focused on political movements and how environmental advocates can provoke change in public attitudes and on Capitol Hill. Hertsgaard sees 2011’s Occupy movement as a sign of real hope and discussed what climate activists can learn from Occupy’s tactics.
This E-ssential is an edited version of Hertsgaard’s talk and the subsequent question and answer session. While some material has been cut and some language modified for clarity, the intention was to retain the substance of the original discussion.
The Initials of the Earth
Jesús Díaz Duke University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PQ7390.D57I5513 2006 | Dewey Decimal 863.64
Many critics consider The Initials of the Earth to be the quintessential novel of the Cuban Revolution and the finest work by the Cuban writer and filmmaker Jesús Díaz. Born in Havana in 1941, Díaz was a witness to the Revolution and ardent supporter of it until the last decade of his life. In 1992 he took up residence as an exile in Berlin and later in Madrid, where he died in 2002. This is the first of his books to be translated into English.
Originally written in the 1970s, then rewritten and published simultaneously in Havana and Madrid in 1987, The Initials of the Earth spans the tumultuous years from the 1950s until the 1970s, encompassing the Revolution and its immediate aftermath. The novel opens as the protagonist, Carlos Pérez Cifredo, sits down to fill out a questionnaire for readmission to the Cuban Communist Party. It closes with Carlos standing before a panel of Party members charged with assessing his merit as an “exemplary worker.” The chapters between relate Carlos’s experiences of the pre- and postrevolutionary era. His family is torn apart as some members reject the Revolution and flee the country while others, including Carlos, choose to stay. He witnesses key events including the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban missile crisis, and the economically disastrous sugar harvest of 1970. Throughout the novel, Díaz vividly renders Cuban culture through humor, slogans, and slang; Afro-Cuban religion; and references to popular music, movies, and comics.
This edition of The Initials of the Earth includes a bibliography and filmography of Diaz’s works and a timeline of the major events of the Cuban revolutionary period. In his epilogue, the Cuban writer Ambrosio Fornet reflects on Díaz’s surprising 1992 renunciation of the Revolution, their decades-long friendship, and the novel’s reception, structure, and place within Cuban literary history.
The search for an ethics rooted in human experience is the crux of this deeply compassionate work, here translated from the 1983 German edition. Distinguished philosopher Werner Marx provides a close reading, critique, and Weiterdenken, or "further thinking," of Martin Heidegger's later work on death, language, and poetry, which has often been dismissed as both obscure and obscurantist. In it Marx seeks, and perhaps finds, both a measure for distinguishing between good and evil and a motive for preferring the former.
The poet Hölderlin posed the question, "Is there a measure on earth?" His own answer was emphatic, "There is none," for he was convinced that the measure for man was to be found only in the domain of the heavenly beings. Such metaphysical assumptions, as well as the attempt to found ethical conduct in the nature of man as a rational being, have been rejected by many contemporary thinkers, particularly Heidegger. Yet these thinkers have not been able to provide a satisfactory alternative to metaphysical foundations of the standards for responsible human conduct.
Marx, therefore, goes beyond Heidegger in demonstrating how several of his most basic notions could be relevant to a secular morality in our age. It is death, Marx claims, that unsettles man and transforms his conduct toward his fellow man. the common experience of mortality nourishes ethical life—and leads to the measures of compassion, love, and recognition of one's fellow human beings.
"It is only on the basis of these 'traditional virtues,'" Marx writes, "that we can find a motive for averting the impending dangers which have often enough been described so vividly and convincingly."
Darwin’s theory of evolution transformed the life sciences and made profound claims about human origins and the human condition, topics often viewed as the prerogative of religion. As a result, evolution has provoked a wide variety of religious responses, ranging from angry rejection to enthusiastic acceptance. While Christian responses to evolution have been studied extensively, little scholarly attention has been paid to Jewish reactions. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism is the first extended meditation on the Jewish engagement with this crucial and controversial theory.
The contributors to Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism—from several academic disciplines and two branches of the rabbinate—present case studies showing how Jewish discussions of evolution have been shaped by the intersections of faith, science, philosophy, and ideology in specific historical contexts. Furthermore, they examine how evolutionary theory has been deployed when characterizing Jews as a race, both by Zionists and by anti-Semites. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism addresses historical and contemporary, as well as progressive and Orthodox, responses to evolution in America, Europe, and Israel, ultimately extending the history of Darwinism into new religious domains.
Is it time to embrace the so-called “Anthropocene”—the age of human dominion—and to abandon tried-and-true conservation tools such as parks and wilderness areas? Is the future of Earth to be fully domesticated, an engineered global garden managed by technocrats to serve humanity? The schism between advocates of rewilding and those who accept and even celebrate a “post-wild” world is arguably the hottest intellectual battle in contemporary conservation.
In Keeping the Wild, a group of prominent scientists, writers, and conservation activists responds to the Anthropocene-boosters who claim that wild nature is no more (or in any case not much worth caring about), that human-caused extinction is acceptable, and that “novel ecosystems” are an adequate replacement for natural landscapes. With rhetorical fists swinging, the book’s contributors argue that these “new environmentalists” embody the hubris of the managerial mindset and offer a conservation strategy that will fail to protect life in all its buzzing, blossoming diversity.
With essays from Eileen Crist, David Ehrenfeld, Dave Foreman, Lisi Krall, Harvey Locke, Curt Meine, Kathleen Dean Moore, Michael Soulé, Terry Tempest Williams and other leading thinkers, Keeping the Wild provides an introduction to this important debate, a critique of the Anthropocene boosters’ attack on traditional conservation, and unapologetic advocacy for wild nature.
In this insightful, compelling, and highly readable work, Melanie Lenart, an award-winning journalist and science writer who holds a PhD in Natural Resources and Global Change, examines global warming with the trained eye of a professional scientist. And she presents the science in a clear, straightforward manner. Why does the planet’s warming produce stronger hurricanes, rising seas, and larger floods? Simple, says Lenart. The Earth is just doing what comes naturally. Just as humans produce sweat to cool off on a hot day, the planet produces hurricanes, floods, wetlands, and forests to cool itself off.
Life in the Hothouse incorporates Lenart’s extensive knowledge of climate science—including the latest research in climate change—and the most current scientific theories, including Gaia theory, which holds that the Earth has some degree of climate control “built in.” As Lenart points out, scientists have been documenting stronger hurricanes and larger floods for many years. There is a good reason for this, she notes. Hurricanes help cool the ocean surface and clear the air of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. From the perspective of Gaia theory, these responses are helping to slow the ongoing global warming and Lenart expounds upon this in a clear and understandable fashion.
There is hope, Lenart writes. If we help sustain Earth's natural defense systems, including wetlands and forests, perhaps Mother Earth will no longer need to rely as much on the cooling effects of what we call "natural disasters"—many of which carry a human fingerprint. At a minimum, she argues, these systems can help us survive the heat.
Burchfield charts the enormous impact made by Lord Kelvin's application of thermodynamic laws to the question of the earth's age and the heated debate his ideas sparked among British Victorian physicists, astronomers, geologists, and biologists.
"Anyone interested in geologic time, and that should include all geologists and a fair smattering of biologists, physicists and chemists, should make Burchfield's commendable and time-tested volume part of their personal library"—Brent Darymple, Quartely Review of Biology
Self-styled adventurer, literary wit, philosopher, and statesman of science, Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698-1759) stood at the center of Enlightenment science and culture. Offering an elegant and accessible portrait of this remarkable man, Mary Terrall uses the story of Maupertuis's life, self-fashioning, and scientific works to explore what it meant to do science and to be a man of science in eighteenth-century Europe.
Beginning his scientific career as a mathematician in Paris, Maupertuis entered the public eye with a much-discussed expedition to Lapland, which confirmed Newton's calculation that the earth was flattened at the poles. He also made significant, and often intentionally controversial, contributions to physics, life science, navigation, astronomy, and metaphysics. Called to Berlin by Frederick the Great, Maupertuis moved to Prussia to preside over the Academy of Sciences there. Equally at home in salons, cafés, scientific academies, and royal courts, Maupertuis used his social connections and his printed works to enhance a carefully constructed reputation as both a man of letters and a man of science. His social and institutional affiliations, in turn, affected how Maupertuis formulated his ideas, how he presented them to his contemporaries, and the reactions they provoked.
Terrall not only illuminates the life and work of a colorful and important Enlightenment figure, but also uses his story to delve into many wider issues, including the development of scientific institutions, the impact of print culture on science, and the interactions of science and government. Smart and highly readable, Maupertuis will appeal to anyone interested in eighteenth-century science and culture.
“Terrall’s work is scholarship in the best sense. Her explanations of arcane 18th-century French physics, mathematics, astronomy, and biology are among the most lucid available in any language.”—Virginia Dawson, American Historical Review
Winner of the 2003 Pfizer Award from the History of Science Society
This book presents a large-scale multidisciplinary evaluation of what has happened and is happening to the earth under man's impress. It includes the papers presented by fifty-three eminent scholars at a major conference on ecology—one of the first ever held—sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. A pioneering publication in the field of environmental research, the work has steadily contributed to ecological studies, and is now considered a classic.
The volume is organized into three parts. Part 1 deals with man's rise to the status of ecological dominance, and includes discussions of such topics as the role of fire as the first great force harnessed by man, early food-producing populations, the clearing of Europe's woodlands, subsistence economies and commercial economies, and the natural history of urbanization.
Part 2 investigates environmental changes such as man's impact upon the seas and coastlines. The highly topical ecology of wastes is discussed, as well as urban-industrial demands and the depletion of natural resources.
Part 3 is concerned with the limits of the earth's resources. It includes papers dealing with the population spiral, possible limitations of raw-material consumption and energy use, and technological denudation.
Each part is accompanied by a report summarizing the ideas discussed at the conference by the participants.
Throughout history, humans have searched for paradise. When early Christians adopted the Hebrew Bible, and with it the story of Genesis, the Garden of Eden became an idyllic habitat for all mankind. Medieval Christians believed this paradise was a place on earth, different from this world and yet part of it, situated in real geography and indicated on maps. From the Renaissance through the Enlightenment, the mapping of paradise validated the authority of holy scripture and supported Christian faith. But from the early nineteenth century onwards, the question of the exact location of paradise was left not to theologians but to the layman. And at the beginning of the twenty-first century, there is still no end to the stream of theories on the location of the former Garden of Eden.
Mapping Paradise is a history of the cartography of paradise that journeys from the beginning of Christianity to the present day. Instead of dismissing the medieval belief in a paradise on earth as a picturesque legend and the cartography of paradise as an example of the period’s many superstitions, Alessandro Scafi explores the intellectual conditions that made the medieval mapping of paradise possible. The challenge for mapmakers, Scafi argues, was to make visible a place that was geographically inaccessible and yet real, remote in time and yet still the scene of an essential episode of the history of salvation. Mapping Paradise also accounts for the transformations, in both theological doctrine and cartographical practice, that brought about the decline of the belief in a terrestrial paradise and the emergence of the new historical and regional mapping of the Garden of Eden that began at the time of the Reformation and still continues today.
The first book to show how paradise has been expressed in cartographic form throughout two millennia, Mapping Paradise reveals how the most deeply reflective thoughts about the ultimate destiny of all human life have been molded and remolded, generation by generation.
Markings on Earth
Karenne Wood University of Arizona Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3623.O63M37 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
“Ten thousand years of history, and we find the remains
of ancestors removed from their burial mound . . . “
Impressions of the past, markings on earth, are part of the world of Karenne Wood. A member of the Monacan tribe of Virginia, she writes with insight and grace on topics that both reflect and extend her Native heritage.
Markings on Earth is a cyclical work that explores the many dimensions of human experience, from our interaction with the environment to personal relationships. In these pages we relive the arrival of John Smith in America and visit the burial mounds of the Monacan people, experience the flight of the great blue heron and witness the dance of the spider. We also share the personal journey of one individual who seeks to overcome her sense of alienation from her people and her past.
Wood’s palette is not only Nature but human nature as well. She writes pointedly about shameful episodes of American history, such as the devastation of Appalachia by mining companies and the “disappearance” of Indian peoples. She also addresses forms of everyday violence known to many of us, such as alcoholism and sexual abuse. Wood conveys an acceptance of history and personal trauma, but she finds redemption in a return to tradition and a perception of the world’s natural grace.
Through these elegantly crafted words, we come to know that Native writers need not be limited to categorical roles determined by their heritage. Markings on Earth displays a fidelity to human experience, evoking that experience through poems honed to perfection. It is an affirmation of survival, a work that suggests one person’s life cannot be separated from the larger story of its community, its rootedness in history, and its timeless connections to the world.
Much like Vladimir Lenin, his onetime rival for the leadership of the Bolshevik party during its formative years, Alexander Bogdanov (1873–1928) was a visionary. In two science fiction novels set on Mars, Bogdanov imagined a future in which the workers of the world, liberated from capitalist exploitation, create a “physiological collective” that rejuvenates and unites its members through regular blood exchanges. But Bogdanov was not merely a dreamer. He worked tirelessly to popularize and realize his vision, founding the first research institute devoted to the science of blood transfusion.
In A Martian Stranded on Earth, the first broad-based book on Bogdanov in English, Nikolai Krementsov examines Bogdanov’s roles as revolutionary, novelist, and scientist, presenting his protagonist as a coherent thinker who pursued his ideas in a wide range of venues. Through the lens of Bogdanov’s involvement with blood studies on one hand, and of his fictional and philosophical writings on the other, Krementsov offers a nuanced analysis of the interactions between scientific ideas and societal values.
The more than two dozen islands that make up southern Chile’s Chiloé Archipelago present a unique case of culture change and rapid industrialization in the twentieth century. Since the arrival of the first European settlers in the late 1500s, Chiloé was given scant attention by colonial and national governments on mainland Chile. Islanders developed a way of life heavily dependent on marine resources, native crops like the potato, and the cooperative labor practice known as the minga.
Starting in the 1980s, Chiloé emerged as a key player in the global seafood market as major companies moved into the region to extract wild stocks of fish and to grow salmon and shellfish for export. The region’s economy shifted abruptly from one of subsistence farming and fishing to wage labor in export industries. Local knowledge, traditions, memories, and identities similarly shifted, with younger islanders expressing a more critical view of the rural past than their elders.
This book recounts the unique history of this region, emphasizing the generational tensions, disconnects, and continuities of the last half century. Drawing on interviews, field observations, and historical documents, Anton Daughters brings to life one of the most culturally distinct regions of South America.
Mirrors Beneath the Earth is an historic and unique collection of contemporary Chicano fiction: 31 stories depicting the richly varied experiences of Mexican-Americans in the U.S. Some, like Sandra Cisneros, Rudolfo Anaya, Ana Castillo, are already celebrated writers. The special strength of this anthology is that it introduces others who have never before been published in book form, like Ana Baca, Patricia Blanca, Rafael Jesus Gonzalez, and Natalia Trevino. These writers open our eyes and enrich our understanding.
A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.
In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeney’s, an exuberant yet introspective account of a year’s sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and knowing; though he’s unquestionably not a tourist, at the same time he knows he will never be a local. So his lyrical accounts reveal his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an awkward meeting with Nobel laureate José Saramago, being trapped in a budding soccer riot, and his daughter’s challenging transition to adolescence while attending a Portuguese school—but he also waxes loving about Portugal’s saudade-drenched music, its inventive cuisine, and its vibrant literary culture. And through his humorous, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to know Graham himself, and his wife and daughter, so that when an unexpected crisis hits his family, we can’t help but ache alongside them.
A thoughtful, finely wrought celebration of the moment-to-moment excitement of diving deep into another culture and confronting one’s secret selves, The Moon, Come to Earth is literary travel writing of a rare intimacy and immediacy.
The 1992 Rio Earth Summit was supposed to be a turning point for the World Bank. Environmental concerns would now play a major role in its lending—programs and projects would go beyond economic development to “sustainable development.” More than two decades later, efforts to green the bank seem pallid.
Bruce Rich argues that the Bank’s current institutional problems are extensions of flaws that had been present since its founding. His new book, Foreclosing the Future, tells the story of the Bank from the Rio Earth Summit to today. For readers who want the full history of the Bank’s environmental record, Rich’s acclaimed 1994 critique, Mortgaging the Earth, is an essential companion.
Called a “detailed and thought-provoking look at an important subject” by The New York Times, Mortgaging the Earth analyzes the twenty year period leading up the Rio Summit. Rich offers not only an important history but critical insights about economic development that are ever-more relevant today.
"The earth is my mother, and on her bosom I shall repose."
Attributed to Tecumseh in the early 1800s, this statement is frequently cited to uphold the view, long and widely proclaimed in scholarly and popular literature, that Mother Earth is an ancient and central Native American figure. In this radical and comprehensive rethinking, Sam D. Gill traces the evolution of female earth imagery in North America from the sixteenth century to the present and reveals how the evolution of the current Mother Earth figure was influenced by prevailing European-American imagery of America and the Indians as well as by the rapidly changing Indian identity.
Gill also analyzes the influential role of scholars in creating and establishing the imagery that underlay the recent origins of Mother Earth and, upon reflection, he raises serious questions about the nature of scholarship.
"Mother Earth might be modern, stressing the supposed biological ground of native life and its rich mythic tradition, but it hardly frees the native people from their long, lamentable involvement with the white man. For making this point clear, Gill deserves high praise."—Bernard W. Sheehan, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"In one of the finest studies of recent years we have an ambitious attempt to satisfy scholar, Native American, popular reader, and truth."—Thomas McElwain, Western Folklore
A Natural History of Time
Pascal Richet University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress QE508.R5413 2007 | Dewey Decimal 551.701
The quest to pinpoint the age of the Earth is nearly as old as humanity itself. For most of history, people trusted mythology or religion to provide the answer, even though nature abounds with clues to the past of the Earth and the stars. In A Natural History of Time, geophysicist Pascal Richet tells the fascinating story of how scientists and philosophers examined those clues and from them built a chronological scale that has made it possible to reconstruct the history of nature itself.
Richet begins his story with mythological traditions, which were heavily influenced by the seasons and almost uniformly viewed time cyclically. The linear history promulgated by Judaism, with its story of creation, was an exception, and it was that tradition that drove early Christian attempts to date the Earth. For instance, in 169 CE, the bishop of Antioch, for instance declared that the world had been in existence for “5,698 years and the odd months and days.”
Until the mid-eighteenth century, such natural timescales derived from biblical chronologies prevailed, but, Richet demonstrates, with the Scientific Revolution geological and astronomical evidence for much longer timescales began to accumulate. Fossils and the developing science of geology provided compelling evidence for periods of millions and millions of years—a scale that even scientists had difficulty grasping. By the end of the twentieth century, new tools such as radiometric dating had demonstrated that the solar system is four and a half billion years old, and the universe itself about twice that, though controversial questions remain.
The quest for time is a story of ingenuity and determination, and like a geologist, Pascal Richet carefully peels back the strata of that history, giving us a chance to marvel at each layer and truly appreciate how far our knowledge—and our planet—have come.
From Sir John Franklin's doomed 1845 search for the Northwest Passage to early twentieth-century sprints to the South Pole, polar expeditions produced an extravagant archive of documents that are as varied as they are engaging. As the polar ice sheets melt, fragments of this archive are newly emergent. In The News at the Ends of the Earth Hester Blum examines the rich, offbeat collection of printed ephemera created by polar explorers. Ranging from ship newspapers and messages left in bottles to menus and playbills, polar writing reveals the seamen wrestling with questions of time, space, community, and the environment. Whether chronicling weather patterns or satirically reporting on penguin mischief, this writing provided expedition members with a set of practices to help them survive the perpetual darkness and harshness of polar winters. The extreme climates these explorers experienced is continuous with climate change today. Polar exploration writing, Blum contends, offers strategies for confronting and reckoning with the extreme environment of the present.
“This text reveals [Fontana’s] interaction with his [Tohono O’odham] neighbors and how geography and climate define life and culture in this piece of dry land. Fontana’s words introduce the reader to people and provide an excellent overview of tribal history, but no notice of this book can overlook John P. Schaefer’s photographs . . . [which] give the reader a feeling for what day-to-day life is like . . . for the 12,000 or so people who call Papaguería their homeland.”—Journal of Arizona History
Origin of the Earth and Moon
Edited by R. M. Canup and K. Righter University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress QB632.O76 2000 | Dewey Decimal 525
The age-old question of how our home planet and its satellite originated has in recent times undergone a minor revolution. The emergence of the "giant impact theory" as the most successful model for the origin of the Moon has been difficult to reconcile with some aspects of the Earth, and the development of an integrated model for the origin of the Earth-Moon system has been difficult for this reason. However, recent technical advances in experimental and isotopic work, together with intensified interest in the modeling of planetary dynamics, have produced a wealth of new results requiring a rethinking of models for the origin of the Earth and Moon.
This book is intended to serve as a resource for those scientists working closely in this field, while at the same time it provides enough balance and depth to offer an introduction for students or technically minded general readers. Its thirty chapters address isotopic and chemical constraints on accretion, the dynamics of terrestrial planet formation, the impact-triggered formation of the Earth-Moon system, differentiation of the Earth and Moon, the origin of terrestrial volatiles, and conditions on the young Earth and Moon.
Covering such subjects as the history and origin of the Moon's orbit, water on the Earth, and the implications of Earth-Moon interactions for terrestrial climate and life, the book constitutes a state-of-the-art overview of the most recent investigations in the field. Although many advances have been made in our ability to evaluate competing models of the formation of the Earth-Moon system, there are still many gaps in our understanding. This book makes great strides toward closing those gaps by highlighting the extensive progress that has been made and pointing toward future research.
Playing with Earth and Sky reveals the significance astronomy, geography, and aviation had for Marcel Duchamp—widely regarded as the most influential artist of the past fifty years. Duchamp transformed modern art by abandoning unique art objects in favor of experiences that could be both embodied and cerebral. This illuminating study offers new interpretations of Duchamp’s momentous works, from readymades to the early performance art of shaving a comet in his hair. It demonstrates how the immersive spaces and narrative environments of popular science, from museums to the modern planetarium, prepared paths for Duchamp’s nonretinal art. By situating Duchamp’s career within the transatlantic cultural contexts of Dadaism and Surrealism, this book enriches contemporary debates about the historical relationship between art and science. This truly original study will appeal to a broad readership in art history and cultural studies.
Scandinavia's most famous painter, the Norwegian Edvard Munch (1863-1944), is probably best known for his painting The Scream, a universally recognized icon of terror and despair. (A version was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, in August 2004, and has not yet been recovered.) But Munch considered himself a writer as well as a painter. Munch began painting as a teenager and, in his young adulthood, studied and worked in Paris and Berlin, where he evolved a highly personal style in paintings and works on paper. And in diaries that he kept for decades, he also experimented with reminiscence, fiction, prose portraits, philosophical speculations, and surrealism. Known as an artist who captured both the ecstasies and the hellish depths of the human condition, Munch conveys these emotions in his diaries but also reveals other facets of his personality in remarks and stories that are alternately droll, compassionate, romantic, and cerebral.
This English translation of Edvard Munch's private diaries, the most extensive edition to appear in any language, captures the eloquent lyricism of the original Norwegian text. The journal entries in this volume span the period from the 1880s, when Munch was in his twenties, until the 1930s, reflecting the changes in his life and his work. The book is illustrated with fifteen of Munch's drawings, many of them rarely seen before. While these diaries have been excerpted before, no translation has captured the real passion and poetry of Munch's voice. This is a translation that lets Munch speak for himself and evokes the primal passion of his diaries. J. Gill Holland's exceptional work adds a whole new level to our understanding of the artist and the depth of his scream.
While there is enormous public interest in biodiversity, food sourcing, and sustainable agriculture, romantic attachments to heirloom seeds and family farms have provoked misleading fantasies of an unrecoverable agrarian past. The reality, as Courtney Fullilove shows, is that seeds are inherently political objects transformed by the ways they are gathered, preserved, distributed, regenerated, and improved. In The Profit of the Earth, Fullilove unearths the history of American agricultural development and of seeds as tools and talismans put in its service.
Organized into three thematic parts, The Profit of the Earth is a narrative history of the collection, circulation, and preservation of seeds. Fullilove begins with the political economy of agricultural improvement, recovering the efforts of the US Patent Office and the nascent US Department of Agriculture to import seeds and cuttings for free distribution to American farmers. She then turns to immigrant agricultural knowledge, exploring how public and private institutions attempting to boost midwestern wheat yields drew on the resources of willing and unwilling settlers. Last, she explores the impact of these cereal monocultures on biocultural diversity, chronicling a fin-de-siècle Ohio pharmacist’s attempt to source Purple Coneflower from the diminishing prairie. Through these captivating narratives of improvisation, appropriation, and loss, Fullilove explores contradictions between ideologies of property rights and common use that persist in national and international development—ultimately challenging readers to rethink fantasies of global agriculture’s past and future.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University of Chicago Press, 2008 Library of Congress QE25.L513 2008 | Dewey Decimal 551
Protogaea, an ambitious account of terrestrial history, was central to the development of the earth sciences in the eighteenth century and provides key philosophical insights into the unity of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s thought and writings. In the book, Leibniz offers observations about the formation of the earth, the actions of fire and water, the genesis of rocks and minerals, the origins of salts and springs, the formation of fossils, and their identification as the remains of living organisms. Protogaea also includes a series of engraved plates depicting the remains of animals—in particular the famous reconstruction of a “fossil unicorn”—together with a cross section of the cave in which some fossil objects were discovered.
Though the works of Leibniz have been widely translated, Protogaea has languished in its original Latin for centuries. Now Claudine Cohen and Andre Wakefield offer the first English translation of this central text in natural philosophy and natural history. Written between 1691 and 1693, and first published after Leibniz’s death in 1749, Protogaea reemerges in this bilingual edition with an introduction that carefully situates the work within its historical context.
In his distinctive and spirited way, Ray Gonzalez, the well-known essayist, poet, fiction writer, and anthologist, reflects on the American Southwest—where he was raised and to which he still feels attached (even though he has lived much of his life elsewhere). It is a place that tugs at him, from its arid desert landscapes to its polyglot cities—part Mexican, part Anglo, part something in-between—always in the process of redefining themselves.
Nowhere does the process of redefinition hit Gonzalez quite as hard as in his native city of El Paso, Texas. There he finds the “segregated little town of my childhood” transformed into “a metropolis of fast Latino zip codes . . . a world where the cell phone, the quick beer, the rented apartment, and the low-paying job say you can be young and happy on the border.” Readers will wonder, along with the author, whether life along the “new border” is worth “the extermination of the old boundaries.”
But there is another side of the Southwest for this “son of the desert”—the world of dusty canyons, ponderosa pines, ocotillo, and mesquite. Here, he writes, “there is a shadow, and it is called ancient home—structures erased from their seed to grow elsewhere, vultured strings searching for a frame that stands atop history and renames the ground.”
Rooted in the desert sand and in the banks of the Rio Grande, the muddy river that forms the border between nations, these essays are by turns lyrical, mournful, warm to the ways of the land, and lukewarm to the ways of man.
Ecological restoration integrates the science and art of repairing ecosystems damaged by human activities. Despite relatively little attention from environmental ethicists, restoration projects continue to gain significance, drawing on citizen volunteers and large amounts of public funds, providing an important model of responding to ecological crisis. Projects range from the massive, multi-billion dollar Kissimmee River project; restoring 25,000 acres of Everglades' wetlands; to the $30 million effort to restore selected wetlands in industrial Brownfield sites in Chicago's south side Lake Calumet area; to the reintroduction of tall grass prairie ecosystems in various communities in the Midwest.
Restored to Earth provides the first comprehensive examination of the religious and ethical dimensions and significance of contemporary restoration practice, an ethical framework that advances the field of environmental ethics in a more positive, action-oriented, experience-based direction. Van Wieren brings together insights and examples from restoration ecology, environmental ethics, religious studies, and conservation and Christian thought, as well as her own personal experiences in ecological restoration, to propose a new restoration ethic grounded in the concrete, hands-on experience of humans working as partners with the land.
Over nearly three centuries, Jesuit, Franciscan, and Dominican missionaries built a network of churches throughout the “new world” of New Spain. Since the early twentieth century, scholars have studied the colonial architecture of southern New Spain, but they have largely ignored the architecture of the north. However, as this book clearly demonstrates, the colonial architecture of Northern New Spain—an area that encompasses most of the southwestern United States and much of northern Mexico—is strikingly beautiful and rich with meaning. After more than two decades of research, both in the field and in archives around the world, Gloria Fraser Giffords has authored the definitive book on this architecture.
Giffords has a remarkable eye for detail and for images both grand and diminutive. Because so many of the buildings she examines have been destroyed, she sleuthed through historical records in several countries, and she discovered that the architecture and material culture of northern New Spain reveal the influences of five continents. As she examines objects as large as churches or as small as ornamental ceramic tile she illuminates the sometimes subtle, sometimes striking influences of the religious, social, and artistic traditions of Europe (from the beginning of the Christian era through the nineteenth century), of the Muslim countries ringing the Mediterranean (from the seventh through the fifteenth centuries), and of Northern New Spain’s indigenous peoples (whose art influenced the designs of occupying Europeans).
Sanctuaries of Earth, Stone, and Light is a pathbreaking book, featuring 200 stunning photographs and over 300 illustrations ranging from ceremonial garments to detailed floor plans of the churches.
Humans use 50 percent of the world’s freshwater supply and consume 42 percent of its plant growth. We are liquidating animals and plants one hundred times faster than the natural rate of extinction. Such numbers should make it clear that our impact on the planet has been, and continues to be, extreme and detrimental. Yet even after decades of awareness of our environmental peril, there remains passionate disagreement over what the problems are and how they should be remedied.
Much of the impasse stems from the fact that the problems are difficult to quantify. How do we assess the impact of habitat loss on various species, when we haven’t even counted them all? And just what factors go into that 42 percent of biomass we are hungrily consuming? It is only through an understanding of the numbers that we will be able to break that impasse and come to agreement on which environmental issues are most critical and how they might best be addressed.
Working on the front lines of conservation biology, Stuart Pimm is one of the pioneers whose work has put the “science” in environmental science. In this book, he appoints himself “investment banker of the global, biological accounts,” checking the environmental statistics gathered by tireless scientists in work that is always painstaking and often heartbreaking. With wit, passion, and candor, he reveals the importance of understanding where these numbers come from and what they mean. To do so, he takes the reader on a globe-circling tour of our beautiful, but weary, planet from the volcanic mountains and rainforests of Hawai’i to the boreal forests of Siberia.
At times, the view looks rather grim. Yet Pimm, ever the optimist, presents a world filled with mysterious beauty, the infinite variety of nature, and an urgent hope that through an understanding of our planet’s environmental past and present, we will be inspired to save it from future extinction.
We have long lorded over the ocean. But only recently have we become aware of the myriad life-forms beneath its waves. We now know that this delicate ecosystem is our life-support system; it regulates the earth’s temperatures and climate and comprises 99 percent of living space on earth. So when we change the chemistry of the whole ocean system, as we are now, life as we know it is threatened.
In Seasick, veteran science journalist Alanna Mitchell dives beneath the surface of the world’s oceans to give readers a sense of how this watery realm can be managed and preserved, and with it life on earth. Each chapter features a different group of researchers who introduce readers to the importance of ocean currents, the building of coral structures, or the effects of acidification. With Mitchell at the helm, readers submerge 3,000 feet to gather sea sponges that may contribute to cancer care, see firsthand the lava lamp–like dead zone covering 17,000 square kilometers in the Gulf of Mexico, and witness the simultaneous spawning of corals under a full moon in Panama.
The first book to look at the planetary environmental crisis through the lens of the global ocean, Seasick takes the reader on an emotional journey through a hidden realm of the planet and urges conservation and reverence for the fount from which all life on earth sprang.
Utah has long claimed to have the greatest snow on Earth—the state itself has even trademarked the phrase. In Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth, Jim Steenburgh investigates Wasatch weather, exposing the myths, explaining the reality, and revealing how and why Utah’s powder lives up to its reputation. Steenburgh also examines ski and snowboard regions beyond Utah, making this book a meteorological guide to mountain weather and snow climates around the world.
Chapters explore mountain weather, avalanches and snow safety, historical accounts of weather events and snow conditions, and the basics of climate and weather forecasting. Steenburgh explains what creates the best snow for skiing and snowboarding in accurate and accessible language and illustrates his points with 150 color photographs, making Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth a helpful tool for planning vacations and staying safe during mountain adventures. Snowriders, weather enthusiasts, meteorologists, students of snow science, and anyone who dreams of deep powder and bluebird skies will want to get their gloves on Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth.
Sarah Beth Childers grew up listening to stories. She heard them riding to school with her mother, playing Yahtzee in her Granny’s nicotine cloud, walking to the bowling alley with her grandfather, and eating casseroles at the family reunions she attended every year.
In a thoughtful, humorous voice born of Appalachian storytelling, Childers brings to life in these essays events that affected the entire region: large families that squeezed into tiny apartments during the Great Depression, a girl who stepped into a rowboat from a second-story window during Huntington’s 1937 flood, brothers who were whisked away to World War II and Vietnam, and a young man who returned home from the South Pacific and worked his life away as a railroad engineer.
Childers uses these family tales to make sense of her personal journey and find the joy and clarity that often emerge after the earth shakes terribly beneath us.
In the first ecological reading of English literature, Jonathan Bate traces the distinctions among "nature," "culture," and "environment" and shows how their meanings have changed since their appearance in the literature of the eighteenth century.
Between A.D. 700 and 1100 Native Americans built more effigy mounds in Wisconsin than anywhere else in North America, with an estimated 1,300 mounds—including the world’s largest known bird effigy—at the center of effigy-building culture in and around Madison, Wisconsin. These huge earthworks, sculpted in the shape of birds, mammals, and other figures, have aroused curiosity for generations and together comprise a vast effigy mound ceremonial landscape. Farming and industrialization destroyed most of these mounds, leaving the mysteries of who built them and why they were made. The remaining mounds are protected today and many can be visited. explores the cultural, historical, and ceremonial meanings of the mounds in an informative, abundantly illustrated book and guide.
The Spirits of the Earth
Catherine Colomb Seagull Books, 2016 Library of Congress PQ2605.O34813E813 2016 | Dewey Decimal 843.912
Swiss novelist Catherine Colomb is known as one of the most unusual and inventive francophone novelists of the twentieth century. Fascinated by the processes of memory and consciousness, she has been compared to that of Virginia Woolf and Marcel Proust. The Spirits of the Earth is the first English translation of Colomb’s work and its arrival will introduce new readers to an iconic novel.
The Spirits of the Earth is at heart a family drama, set at the Fraidaigue château, along the shores of Lake Geneva, and in the Maison d’en Haut country mansion, located in the hills above the lake. In these luxe locales, readers encounter upper-class characters with faltering incomes, parvenues, and even ghosts. Throughout, Colomb builds a psychologically penetrating and bold story in which the living and the dead intermingle and in which time itself is a mystery.
Wilford Woodruff converted to the LDS church in 1833, he joined a millenarian group of a few thousand persecuted believers clustered around Kirtland, Ohio. When he died sixty-five years later in 1898, he was the leader of more than a quarter of a million followers worldwide who were on the verge of entering the mainstream of American culture.
Before attaining that status of senior church apostle at the death of John Taylor in 1886, Woodruff had been one of the fiercest opponents of United States hegemony. He spent years evading territorial marshals on the Mormon “underground,” escaping prosecution for polygamy, unable even to attend his first wife’s funeral. As church president, faced with disfranchisement and federal confiscation of Mormon property, including temples, Woodruff reached his monumental decision in 1890 to accept U.S. law and to petition for Utah statehood.
As church doctrines and practices evolved, Woodruff himself changed. The author examines the secular and religious development of Woodruff’s world view from apocalyptic mystic to pragmatic conciliator. He also reveals the gentle, solitary farmer; the fisherman and horticulturalist; the family man with seven wives; the charismatic preacher of the Mormon Reformation; the astute businessman; the urbane, savvy politician who courted the favor of prominent Republicans in California and Oregon (Leland Stanford and Isaac Trumbo); and the vulnerable romantic who pursued the affections of Lydia Mountford, an international lecturer and Jewish rights advocate. He traces a faithful polygamist who ultimately embraced the Christian Home movement and settled comfortably into a monogamous relationship in an otherwise typically Victorian setting.
A Tiny Spot on the Earth
Piet de Rooy Amsterdam University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DJ216.R644 2015 | Dewey Decimal 306.1
In this survey of the Dutch political culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Piet de Rooij reveals that the “polder model” often used to describe economic and social policymaking based on consensus is a myth. Instead, modern political culture in the Dutch Low Countries began with a revolution and is rife with rivalries among political and ideological factions. He argues that because of its extremely open economy, the country is vulnerable to external political, cultural, and economic pressures, and Dutch politics is a balancing act between profiting from international developments and maintaining sovereignty. The sudden rise of populism and Euroscepticism at the turn of the millennium, then, indicated a loss of this balance. Shining new light on the political culture of the Netherlands, this book provides insights into the polder model and the principles of pillarization in Dutch society.
Ian L. McHarg's landmark book Design with Nature changed the face of landscape architecture and planning by promoting the idea that the design of human settlements should be based on ecological principles. McHarg was one of the earliest and most influential proponents of the notion that an understanding of the processes that form landscapes should underlie design decisions.
In To Heal the Earth, McHarg has joined with Frederick Steiner, a noted scholar of landscape architecture and planning, to bring forth a valuable cache of his writings produced between the 1950s and the 1990s. McHarg and Steiner have each provided original material that links the writings together, and places them within the historical context of planning design work and within the larger field of ecological planning as practiced today.
The book moves from the theoretical-beginning with the 1962 essay "Man and Environment" which sets forth the themes of religion, science, and creativity that emerge and reappear throughout McHarg's work--to the practical, including discussions of methods and techniques for ecological planning as well as case studies. Other sections address the link between ecology and design, and the issue of ecological planning at a regional scale, covering topics such as education and training necessary to develop the field of ecological planning, how to organize and arrange biophysical information to reveal landscape patterns, the importance of incorporating social factors into ecological planning, and more.
To Heal the Earth provides a larger framework and a new perspective on McHarg's work that brings to light the growth and development of his key ideas over a forty year period. It is an important contribution to the literature, and will be essential reading for students and scholars of ecological planning, as well as for professional planners and landscape architects.
“It was the first time I’d seen what the ocean may have looked like thousands of years ago.” That’s conservation scientist Gregory S. Stone talking about his initial dive among the corals and sea life surrounding the Phoenix Islands in the South Pacific. Worldwide, the oceans are suffering. Corals are dying off at an alarming rate, victims of ocean warming and acidification—and their loss threatens more than 25 percent of all fish species, who depend on the food and shelter found in coral habitats. Yet in the waters off the Phoenix Islands, the corals were healthy, the fish populations pristine and abundant—and Stone and his companion on the dive, coral expert David Obura, determined that they were going to try their best to keep it that way.
Underwater Eden tells the story of how they succeeded, against great odds, in making that dream come true, with the establishment in 2008 of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). It’s a story of cutting-edge science, fierce commitment, and innovative partnerships rooted in a determination to find common ground among conservationists, business interests, and governments—all backed up by hard-headed economic analysis.
Creating the world’s largest (and deepest) UNESCO World Heritage Site was by no means easy or straightforward. Underwater Eden takes us from the initial dive, through four major scientific expeditions and planning meetings over the course of a decade, to high-level negotiations with the government of Kiribati—a small island nation dependent on the revenue from the surrounding fisheries. How could the people of Kiribati, and the fishing industry its waters supported, be compensated for the substantial income they would be giving up in favor of posterity? And how could this previously little-known wilderness be transformed into one of the highest-profile international conservation priorities?
Step by step, conservation and its priorities won over the doubters, and Underwater Eden is the stunningly illustrated record of what was saved. Each chapter reveals—with eye-popping photographs—a different aspect of the science and conservation of the underwater and terrestrial life found in and around the Phoenix Islands’ coral reefs. Written by scientists, politicians, and journalists who have been involved in the conservation efforts since the beginning, the chapters brim with excitement, wonder, and confidence—tempered with realism and full of lessons that the success of PIPA offers for other ambitious conservation projects worldwide.
Simultaneously a valentine to the diversity, resilience, and importance of the oceans and a riveting account of how conservation really can succeed against the toughest obstacles, Underwater Eden is sure to enchant any ocean lover, whether ecotourist or armchair scuba diver.
Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses,
It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.
—Walt Whitman, from “This Compost”
How did Whitman use language to figure out his relationship to the earth, and how can we interpret his language to reconstruct the interplay between the poet and his sociopolitical and environmental world? In this first book-length study of Whitman’s poetry from an ecocritical perspective, Jimmie Killingsworth takes ecocriticism one step further into ecopoetics to reconsider both Whitman’s language in light of an ecological understanding of the world and the world through a close study of Whitman’s language.
Killingsworth contends that Whitman’s poetry embodies the kinds of conflicted experience and language that continually crop up in the discourse of political ecology and that an ecopoetic perspective can explicate Whitman’s feelings about his aging body, his war-torn nation, and the increasing stress on the American environment both inside and outside the urban world. He begins with a close reading of “This Compost”—Whitman’s greatest contribution to the literature of ecology,” from the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass. He then explores personification and nature as object, as resource, and as spirit and examines manifest destiny and the globalizing impulse behind Leaves of Grass, then moves the other way, toward Whitman’s regional, even local appeal—demonstrating that he remained an island poet even as he became America’s first urban poet. After considering Whitman as an urbanizing poet, he shows how, in his final writings, Whitman tried to renew his earlier connection to nature.
Walt Whitman and the Earth reveals Whitman as a powerfully creative experimental poet and a representative figure in American culture whose struggles and impulses previewed our lives today.
Anna Akhmatova is considered one of Russia’s greatest poets. Her life encompassed the turmoil of the Russian Revolution and the paranoia and persecution of the Stalinist era: her works embody the complexities of the age. At the same time, she was able to merge these complexities into a single, poetic voice to speak to the Russian people with whom she so closely and proudly identified.
Way of All the Earth contains short poems written between 1909 and 1964, selected from Evening, Rosary, White Flock, Plantain, Anno Domini, Reed, and The Seventh Book. Intricately observed and unwavering in their emotional immediacy, these strikingly modern poems represent one of the twentieth century’s most powerful voices.
This is the ironic story of how Italian Renaissance and Baroque gardens encouraged the preservation of the American wilderness and ultimately fostered the creation of the world’s first national park system. Told via Mitchell’s sometimes disastrous and humorous travels—from the gardens of southern Italy up through Tuscany and the lake island gardens—the book is filled with history, folklore, myths, and legends of Western Europe, including a detailed history of the labyrinth, a common element in Renaissance gardens. In his attempt to understand the Italian garden in detail, Mitchell set out to create one on his own property—with a labyrinth.
Every religion acknowledges certain spiritual principles and records them in its sacred literature and traditions. This book curates these ancient teachings and shows how they apply to modern life with the help of parables, quotations, and commentaries.
By reading Wisdom from World Religions, people from all walks of life will be inspired to pursue their own spiritual growth and to contemplate questions central to our existence, such as how, through love and creativity, can we be agents of divinity on earth?
Uplifting and instructional, this is a book to be treasured, studied, and practiced.
This collection of essays examines the relationship between environmental injustice and the exploitation of working-class people. Twelve scholars from the fields of environmental humanities and the humanistic social sciences explore connections between the current and unprecedented rise of environmental degradation, economic inequality, and widespread social injustice in the United States and Canada.
The authors challenge prevailing cultural narratives that separate ecological and human health from the impacts of modern industrial capitalism. Essay themes range from how human survival is linked to nature to how the use and abuse of nature benefit the wealthy elite at the expense of working-class people and the working poor as well as how climate change will affect cultures deeply rooted in the land.
Ultimately, Working on Earth calls for a working-class ecology as an integral part of achieving just and sustainable human development.