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Sand Country Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Sand Country Almanac (original 1949; edition 1972)

by Aldo Leopold (Author)

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3,087352,694 (4.22)84
Title:Sand Country Almanac
Authors:Aldo Leopold (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (1972)
Collections:Currently reading

Work details

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (1949)

  1. 60
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    Aldo Leopold's Southwest by David E. Brown (lorax)
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  7. 00
    The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin (atrautz)
  8. 00
    The River Why by David James Duncan (Benbreep)
    Benbreep: My favorite novel, environmental themes, equally fantastic writing.
  9. 00
    Wild Harmony: Animals of the North by William Obadiah Pruitt (thesmellofbooks)
    thesmellofbooks: Two carefully observed and elegantly written volumes on a particular segment of nature. Sand County, and the Canadian taiga.
  10. 02
    A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life by Steven Kotler (PaperbackPirate)
    PaperbackPirate: Aldo Leopold is referenced several times in this book.

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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
"A Sand County Almanac" is an amazing in many ways. Written in the 1940s and published posthumously in 1949, Leopold’s writing predate the mainstream environmentalist movement of the sixties and seventies by well over a decade.

To modern readers, it may feel slow moving, a culturally unfamiliar; Leopold represents a dual character of both hunter and environmentalist, two camps often dived by a political gulf today.

As you might have heard Wes Jackson say, Leopold’s legacy was his “land ethic.” The concept that the earth might have rights, and that, as humans, we have an obligation to steward land, was prescient for a white American. Many of his ideas are still both radical and familiar today.

In this book, Leopold offers an insightful and biting critique of the myth of progress, on that many other thought leaders built upon in subsequent decades. ( )
  willszal | Jan 1, 2019 |
Read this for a campus book discussion group. I liked Part 1 very well, Part 2 not very much, and Part 3 was only mildly interesting. The discussions were good, though. ( )
  Pferdina | Jun 28, 2018 |
A life-in-time commentary ( )
  Brightman | Jun 27, 2018 |
Moving. A family favorite since the early 20th century. Nature is NOT a commodity. The land ethic is to treat nature as community. The Conservationist attitude: you can use this, and use that; but, RESTORE this, and restore that. This is the brilliance given to mankind. ( )
1 vote robertbruceferguson | Sep 8, 2017 |
A series of essays in this posthumous collection takes you through a year in the 1940s at Aldo Leopold's farm in Wisconsin, followed by an essay on "The Land Ethic" exploring making conservation part of our social, rather than economical, consciousness.

Leopold's style has much in common with Henry David Thoreau, and it could also be argued that his ideas about conservation, forestry, and being close to the land are a natural outgrowth of much of Thoreau's ethic as well. I think I would've liked it better if I could dip into and out of it at the right times of the year - as it is, in fact, organized from January to December with one to three essays on each month - instead of rushing for a library due date. Too many essays in a row and it got a little run together and harder to focus. The particular edition I had was a 50th anniversary edition with oversize pages and lovely photographs of the farm where Aldo lived. ( )
1 vote bell7 | Apr 25, 2017 |
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There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. (Forward)
Each year, after the midwinter blizzards, there comes a night of thaw, when the tinkle of dripping water is heard in the land.
To me an ancient cottonwood is the greatest of trees because in his youth he shaded the buffalo and wore a halo of pigeons, and I like a young cottonwood because he may some day become ancient.
But all conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.
To see America as history, to conceive of destiny as a becoming, to smell a hickory tree through the lapse of ages--all these things are possible for us, and to achieve them takes only the free sky, and the will to ply our wings. In these things, and not in Mr. Bush's bombs and Mr. DuPont's nylons, lies objective evidence of our superiority over the beasts.
Despite several opportunities to do so, I have never returned to the White Mountains. I prefer not to see what tourists, roads, sawmills, and logging railroads have done for it, or to it. I hear young people, not yet born when I first rode out 'on top,' exclaim about it as a wonderful place. To this, with an unspoken mental reservation, I agree.
It is a century now since Darwin gave us the first glimpse of the origin of the species. We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of generations: that men are only fellow-voyagers with other creatures in the odyssey of this time, a sense of kinship with fellow-creatures; a wish to live and let live; a sense of wonder over the magnitude and duration of the biotic enterprise. Above all we should, in the century since Darwin, have come to know man, while now captain of the adventuring ship, is hardly the sole object of its quest, and that his prior assumptions to this effect arose from the simple necessity of whistling in the dark.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345345053, Mass Market Paperback)

Published in 1949, shortly after the author's death, A Sand County Almanac is a classic of nature writing, widely cited as one of the most influential nature books ever published. Writing from the vantage of his summer shack along the banks of the Wisconsin River, Leopold mixes essay, polemic, and memoir in his book's pages. In one famous episode, he writes of killing a female wolf early in his career as a forest ranger, coming upon his victim just as she was dying, "in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes.... I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view." Leopold's road-to-Damascus change of view would find its fruit some years later in his so-called land ethic, in which he held that nothing that disturbs the balance of nature is right. Much of Almanac elaborates on this basic premise, as well as on Leopold's view that it is something of a human duty to preserve as much wild land as possible, as a kind of bank for the biological future of all species. Beautifully written, quiet, and elegant, Leopold's book deserves continued study and discussion today. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:20 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Presents a collection of nature writings by Aldo Leopold, one of the foremost conservationists of the early twentieth century.

(summary from another edition)

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