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All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey,…

All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American…

by David Gessner

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A dual biography of Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner, narrated along a 9000 mile road trip visiting the western landmarks that figured prominently in their lives while also interviewing their friends, families, and former students. Author Gessner weaves an eco-journalistic thread throughout that ties the sometimes conflicting views of each author to current topics in conservation and the environment. I've had Stegner's [b: Beyond the Hundredth Meridian|10802|Beyond the Hundredth Meridian John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West|Wallace Stegner|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349109486s/10802.jpg|1471640] on my kindle for some time but didn't feel I had the framework to understand and appreciate it. Now I do. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Nice summary and comparison of Abbey and Stegner. The only real negative was this guy's trip....could not get into it. I was jealous of all the people he got to talk to, however.... ( )
  untraveller | Nov 19, 2015 |
The book started a little slow for me but by the time the author arrived in Vernal and then Moab, UT, I was happily along for the ride. All the Wild That Remains is partly the story of the American West and the unique challenges its arid climate presents, but mostly it's the story of two very different western writers and their influence on the region and the region’s influence on them. Gessner also happened to journey through Colorado in the summer of 2012 when the drought-stricken landscape was ablaze, adding to the story in a sad, yet pointed way.

Gessner recalls the two acclaimed writer-environmentalists, button-down Wallace Stegner and monkey-wrencher Edward Abbey as he travels along in their footsteps. He interviews friends and neighbors, including Wendell Berry, and weaves their stories into an interesting and engaging narrative.

Anyone with an interest in either of these authors and the environmental challenges facing the Western states will enjoy this book. I listened to the audio which was well read by Brian O’Neill. ( )
  coppers | Oct 16, 2015 |
This wasn't the book I thought it was going to be, more memoir than a study of Abbey, Stegner, and the American West. Perhaps as a result, I had a hard time trusting, or even really liking the author. Guy that chose to settle in North Carolina road trips a couple of weeks, and looks up people that knew Abbey or Stegner. Hmm. In the end it works out... okay, mainly due the visits. Peacock especially comes off as kind and helpful to a nosy stranger, so perhaps we should follow his lead.

On the other hand, he had never spent time alone with his nine-year old daughter??? That is just mind-boggling to this dad, who took his then 1 and 3 year old sons on multi-day (solo) road trips. Nor could I imagine decamping from Colorado to North Carolina, and again having a nine-year old that hand't seen the Rockies???

There is a great germ of an idea here, and I hope to eventually find it fulfilled. ( )
  kcshankd | Sep 7, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393089991, Hardcover)

An homage to the West and to two great writers who set the standard for all who celebrate and defend it.

Archetypal wild man Edward Abbey and proper, dedicated Wallace Stegner left their footprints all over the western landscape. Now, the award-winning nature writer David Gessner follows the ghosts of these two remarkable writer-environmentalists—from Stegner’s birthplace in Saskatchewan to the site of Abbey’s pilgrimages to Arches— braiding their stories and asking how they speak to the lives of all those who care about the West. What is the future of a region beset by droughts and fires, by fracking and drilling? What should be done about an ever-increasing population that seems to be in the process of loving the West to death? How might two environmental thinkers with radically different personalities—a competent, mature advocate (Stegner) and a monkey-wrenching anarchist (Abbey)—have responded to the crisis? Gessner takes us on an inspiring, entertaining journey as he renews his own commitment to cultivating a meaningful relationship with the wild, confronting American consumption, and fighting environmental injustice. 8 pages of color illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:01 -0400)

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