A revealing analysis of key themes in Native American origin myths—and their stark contrast with the exceptionalist values of the United States.
Tales of the Earth is a comprehensive yet concise overview of Native American mythologies. After outlining theories of the origins of Native North Americans, David Leeming considers the creation myths of many tribes, emphasizing four commonly occurring figures: the Great Spirit, the trickster, the goddess, and the hero. Leeming suggests that in addition to these figures, Native American mythologies have in common a deep reverence for the earth and for community responsibility as opposed to individualism—tenets that stand in stark contrast to the concepts of exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny that characterize the United States, a nation that was built on ancient tribal land.
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.
In Thinking Like a Mountain, we have excerpted a clear and inviting introduction to the science of conservation biology from Ed Grumbine's previous book, Ghost Bears. Grumbine offers a succinct and evocative description of why we should all care about biodiversity, protected lands, connectivity, and extinction rates, and the advantages to be gained by attempting to 'think like a mountain', as so eloquently phrased by Aldo Leopold.
In this survey of the Dutch political culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Piet de Rooy 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. De Rooy 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.The Dutch edition of this book, Ons stipje op de wereldkaart, was awarded the Prinsjesboekenprijs for the best book on Dutch national politics in 2014.
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.