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Desert Solitaire Book Summary : This memoir of life in the American desert by the author of The Monkey Wrench Gang is a nature writing classic on par with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey recounts his many escapades, adventures, and epiphanies as an Arches National Park ranger outside Moab, Utah. Brimming with arresting insights, impassioned arguments for wilderness conservation, and a raconteur’s wit, it is one of Abbey’s most critically acclaimed works. Through stories and philosophical musings, Abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness, the future of a civilization, and his own internal struggle with morality. As the world continues its rapid development, Abbey’s cry to maintain the natural beauty of the West remains just as relevant today as when this book first appeared in 1968.
Christianity Wilderness and Wildlife Book Summary : In Christianity, Wilderness, and Wildlife, Susan Bratton brings to life the tradition of Christian wilderness spirituality, from Noah’s and Moses’ experiences in the Old Testament to Celtic monasteries and the Franciscan order. She traces a long history of divine encounters in biblical literature such as visions, providential protection, spiritual guidance and calls to leadership—all of which highlight the importance of nature in Christian thought. This book will command the attention of the growing audience for works at the intersection of environment and spirituality.
Desert Cabal Book Summary : "A grief–stricken, heart–hopeful, soul song to the American Desert." —PAM HOUSTON, author of Deep Creek As Ed Abbey’s Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness turns fifty, its iconic author, who has inspired generations of rebel–rousing advocacy on behalf of the American West, is due for a tribute as well as a talking to. In Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness, Amy Irvine admires the man who influenced her life and work while challenging all that is dated—offensive, even—between the covers of Abbey's environmental classic. Irvine names and questions the "lone male" narrative—white and privileged as it is—that still has its boots planted firmly at the center of today's wilderness movement, even as she celebrates the lens through which Abbey taught so many to love the wild remains of the nation. From Abbey’s quiet notion of solitude to Irvine’s roaring cabal, the desert just got hotter, and its defenders more nuanced and numerous. AMY IRVINE is a sixth–generation Utahn and longtime public lands activist. Her work has been published in Orion, Pacific Standard, High Desert Journal, Climbing, Triquarterly, and other publications. Her memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, and Colorado Book Award. Her essay "Spectral Light," which appeared in Orion and The Best American Science and Nature Writing, was a finalist for the Pen Award in Journalism, and her recent essay, “Conflagrations: Motherhood, Madness and a Planet on Fire” appeared among the 2017 Best American Essays' list of Notables. Irvine teaches in the Mountainview Low–Residency MFA Program of Southern New Hampshire University—in the White Mountains of New England. She lives and writes off the grid in southwest Colorado, just spitting distance from her Utah homeland.
The Monkey Wrench Gang Book Summary : A motley crew of saboteurs wreak outrageous havoc on the corporations destroying America’s Western wilderness in this classic, comic extravaganza. When George Washington Hayduke III returns home from war in the jungles of Southeast Asia, he finds the unspoiled West he once knew has been transformed. The pristine lands and waterways are being strip mined, dammed up, and paved over by greedy government hacks and their corrupt corporate coconspirators. And the manic, beer-guzzling, rabidly antisocial ex-Green Beret isn’t just getting mad. Hayduke plans to get even. Together with a radical feminist from the Bronx; a wealthy, billboard-torching libertarian MD; and a disgraced Mormon polygamist, Hayduke’s ready to stick it to the Man in the most creative ways imaginable. By the time they’re done, there won’t be a bridge left standing, a dam unblown, or a bulldozer unmolested from Arizona to Utah. Edward Abbey’s most popular novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang is an outrageous romp with ultra-serious undertones that is as relevant today as it was in the early days of the environmental movement. The author who Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) once dubbed “The Thoreau of the American West” has written a true comedic classic with brains, heart, and soul that more than justifies the call from the Los Angeles Times Book Review that we should all “praise the earth for Edward Abbey!”
Fire on the Mountain Book Summary : A New Mexico man faces off against the government in a battle over his land in this novel by the author of Desert Solitaire. After nine months away at school, Billy Vogelin Starr returns home to his beloved New Mexico—only to find his grandfather in a standoff with the US government, which wants to take his land and turn it into an extension of the White Sands Missile Range. Facing the combined powers of the US county sheriff, the Department of the Interior, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the US Air Force, John Vogelin stands his ground—because to Vogelin, his land is his life. When backed into a corner, a tough old man like him will come out fighting . . . Fire on the Mountain is a suspenseful page-turner by “one of the very best writers to deal with the American West”—the acclaimed author of such classics as The Monkey Wrench Gang and the memoir Desert Solitaire (The Washington Post). “Abbey is a fresh breath from the farther reaches and canyons of the diminishing frontier.” —Houston Chronicle
The Brave Cowboy Book Summary : A cowboy takes on the forces of twentieth century tyranny in a tale by “the Thoreau of the American West” that became the classic film Lonely Are the Brave (Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lonesome Dove). A rugged individualist and sometime ranch hand, Jack Burns has no love for the modern world. He is a man out of time, riding his horse through a Southwestern landscape corrupted by concrete, shopping centers, and superhighways. A stubborn loner, he lives by a personal moral code that often sets him at odds with contemporary society. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. When Jack’s brazen attempt to free a jailed friend fails, the “anarchist cowboy” becomes an outlaw overnight. Suddenly he and his chestnut mare are racing toward the New Mexican high country with the state police, the military, and the FBI in hot pursuit. His private war against authority has reached a dangerous new level. But if the powerful forces aligning against him think that Jack is going to go quietly, they’ve got another think coming. The Houston Chronicle called Edward Abbey “a fresh breath from the farther reaches and canyons of the diminishing frontier.” The bestselling author of The Monkey Wrench Gang delivers a stirring tribute to individualism and the vanishing American hero. Brought to the big screen in 1962 as Lonely Are the Brave—a major motion picture starring Kirk Douglas and Walter Matthau—The Brave Cowboy is a moving and thought-provoking fable of the modern American West.
The Poetics and Politics of the Desert Book Summary : This study explores the ways in which the desert, as topographical space and cultural presence, shaped and reshaped concepts and images of America. Once a territory outside the geopolitical and cultural borders of the United States, the deserts of the West and Southwest have since emerged as canonical American landscapes. Drawing on the critical concepts of American studies and on questions and problems raised in recent debates on ecocriticism, The Poetics and Politics of the Desertinvestigates the spatial rhetoric of America as it developed in view of arid landscapes since the mid-nineteenth century. Gersdorf argues that the integration of the desert into America catered to the entire spectrum of ideological and political responses to the history and culture of the US, maintaining that the Americanization of this landscape was and continues to be staged within the idiomatic parameters and in reaction to the discursive authority of four spatial metaphors: garden, wilderness, Orient, and heterotopia.
The Ecocriticism Reader Book Summary : This book is the first collection of its kind, an anthology of classic and cutting-edge writings in the rapidly emerging field of literary ecology. Exploring the relationship between literature and the physical environment, literary ecology is the study of the ways that writing - from novels and folktales to U.S. government reports and corporate advertisements - both reflects and influences our interactions with the natural world.
The Best of Edward Abbey Book Summary : In 1984, the late great Edward Abbey compiled this reader, endeavoring, as he says in his preface, "to present what I think is both the best and most representative of my writing--so far." Two decades later, it remains the only major collection of his work chosen by Abbey himself, a rich feast of fiction and prose by the singular American writer whom Larry McMurtry called "the Thoreau of the American West" and whom Alice Hoffman hailed as "the voice of all that is ornery and honorable." Devoted Abbey fans along with readers just discovering his work will find a mother lode of treasures here: generous chunks of his best novels, including The Brave Cowboy, Black Sun, and his classic The Monkey Wrench Gang; and more than a score of his evocative, passionate, trenchant essays--a genre in which he produced acknowledged masterpieces such as Desert Solitaire. There is even an excerpt from a novel he was working on in 1984, eventually published as The Fool's Progress. Scattered throughout are the author's own petroglyph-style sketches. Abbey went on publishing new work until his untimely death in 1989 at age sixty, so this new edition includes a selection of later Abbey: a chapter from Hayduke Lives!, the hilarious sequel to The Monkey Wrench Gang; excerpts from his revealing journals; a little-known account of a trip to the Sea of Cortez; and examples of his poetry. A new foreword by Doug Peacock --Abbey's close friend and the model for the flamboyant activist Hayduke--offers a fond appreciation of this largerthan- life figure in American letters.
Bedrock and Paradox Book Summary : Rarely does an author so thoroughly entertain and anger his readers as Edward Abbey does. This book focuses on Abbey's aesthetic and philosophy of paradox as they are reflected in his writings, and explores his literary technique of blurring traditional genres regarding fiction and nonfiction. Until now, no study has sufficiently treated the full complexity of Abbey's writing throughout his career - making this particular work not only original, but important.
This Land Book Summary : “A big, bold book about public lands . . . The Desert Solitaire of our time.” —Outside A hard-hitting look at the battle now raging over the fate of the public lands in the American West--and a plea for the protection of these last wild places The public lands of the western United States comprise some 450 million acres of grassland, steppe land, canyons, forests, and mountains. It's an American commons, and it is under assault as never before. Journalist Christopher Ketcham has been documenting the confluence of commercial exploitation and governmental misconduct in this region for over a decade. His revelatory book takes the reader on a journey across these last wild places, to see how capitalism is killing our great commons. Ketcham begins in Utah, revealing the environmental destruction caused by unregulated public lands livestock grazing, and exposing rampant malfeasance in the federal land management agencies, who have been compromised by the profit-driven livestock and energy interests they are supposed to regulate. He then turns to the broad effects of those corrupt politics on wildlife. He tracks the Department of Interior's failure to implement and enforce the Endangered Species Act--including its stark betrayal of protections for the grizzly bear and the sage grouse--and investigates the destructive behavior of U.S. Wildlife Services in their shocking mass slaughter of animals that threaten the livestock industry. Along the way, Ketcham talks with ecologists, biologists, botanists, former government employees, whistleblowers, grassroots environmentalists and other citizens who are fighting to protect the public domain for future generations. This Land is a colorful muckraking journey--part Edward Abbey, part Upton Sinclair--exposing the rot in American politics that is rapidly leading to the sell-out of our national heritage. The book ends with Ketcham's vision of ecological restoration for the American West: freeing the trampled, denuded ecosystems from the effects of grazing, enforcing the laws already in place to defend biodiversity, allowing the native species of the West to recover under a fully implemented Endangered Species Act, and establishing vast stretches of public land where there will be no development at all, not even for recreation.