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High Uintas Bookshelf

A High Uintas Bookshelf

In this column we’ll list 2-4 interesting articles, books or the like that have caught our attention. They aren’t necessarily recent or recently read-- sort of a random compilation. Within a year, hopefully, we’ll have an established and detailed reading list. It won’t be complete without your additions. Please send suggestions and a descriptive sentence or two.

This month's reviews are by HUPC Coordinator Dick Carter

American Wilderness. A New History. Michael Lewis, ed. Oxford University Press. 2007.

I think the editor has fallen prey to a bit of self-aggrandizement in that this isn’t really a new history nor the only history of wilderness. It is, though, comprehensive, deeply researched and holds together through fourteen chapters and an epilogue--from “first contact” to wilderness and freedom. Some of the chapters by various authors will certainly irritate some in the wilderness preservation community. But the book should be read by wilderness advocates and supporters for nothing more than the depth of references and research and the challenging context of the book. It is not much help on the day to day wilderness battles, but certainly provides a meaningful continuum of how this nation has evolved both with and tangential to the idea of wilderness.

Conservation. January- March 2009. “Conservation’s Bottom Line. How will the economic crisis affect the environment?

This is a series of short essays answering the obvious question in an obvious way: no matter of how you measure it and no matter what you measure, economic growth and environmental issues are not sustainable, contrary to what all of the apologists say. Economic growth upon growth will not assure a wild world. This is not a new idea. Like it or not, while the present economic and financial crisis can be blamed upon bubble after bubble, at the heart of this discussion is the very notion of some kind of belief that an economy must always grow-- faster better than slower. Inevitable growth represents an ever-growing assault on the processes of life--our environment.

Orion. March/April 2009. “The Forbidden Forest. Where the Great War continues to generate casualties.”

A chilling story with an unusual ending for an Orion article. To this day some two million acres of forests around the French city of Verdun remain forbidden territory as an estimated 12 million unexploded WWI (and some WWII) shells are lodged in these hills. Over 60 million shells were fired into the area between 21 February and 18 December 1916, killing some 305,000 soldiers. To this day French explosive experts locate, disarm and remove the shells, which have killed 630 demineurs so far! Reading the horrifying December 2007 tale of Laurent Flauder and Dominique Milesi, we again witness the deep ugliness of war, whether Verdun, the Iraqi deserts or the Afghani mountains!

 


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