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A Sand County Almanac (1949)

by Aldo Leopold

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,471412,633 (4.22)93
First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite, A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land.As the forerunner to such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch's The Primal Place, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was nearly sixty years ago.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, DawnDrain, riannacohen, mapesm, Rena109walk, rkkessler, JJGeevs
  1. 60
    Walden by Henry David Thoreau (chrisharpe)
  2. 83
    Aldo Leopold's Southwest by David E. Brown (lorax)
    lorax: A collection of some of Leopold's earlier writings; it's very interesting to see his "land ethic" evolve over time.
  3. 40
    Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey (coclimber)
    coclimber: Although Abbey writes with an undertone of harshness at times, his love of the desert environment and ability to bring you into that world are a delight to anyone who loves our natural world.
  4. 30
    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (LadyBlakeny)
  5. 10
    The Voice of the Desert by Joseph Wood Krutch (owen1218)
  6. 00
    Waiting for Coyote's Call: An Eco-memoir from the Missouri River Bluff by Jerry Wilson (WildMaggie)
  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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» See also 93 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
There are certain books in the world you can't help but try to read all in one sitting. They draw you in and you can't find your way out of the pages until you reach the final words of The and End. A Sand County Almanac is one such book, especially as an audio read by Cassandra Campbell. Hour after hour would rush by as I got lost in Aldo's world. I could hear the calling of the birds in the fields, the rattle of dried leaves in the oak trees signifying winter is on its way, and the gurgling rush of the stream as it stubbed its toes on rocks worn smooth. Leopold's observations were so warm I couldn't help but think if he were alive today, he and Josh Ritter would be friends. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 10, 2020 |
I first read this in the early 1950s. One of the best books I've read in over three quarters of a century, and I've reread it numerous times over the years. Sad how we can read, and fail to grasp the simplest truths. ( )
  LGCullens | May 1, 2020 |
A Sand County Almanac (1949) is a landmark book in modern environmental literature. It is personal and cozy, reminiscent of Peter Wohlleben (Hidden Life of Trees), the kind of book that leaves you feeling a bit changed looking at the world in a new and better way. The ideas expressed, that the environment is intertwined, was first observed by Alexander von Humboldt in the early 19th century. His ideas of rewilding are becoming more popular, Monibot's book Feral (2013) can be seen as a direct heir.

It's only amazing that given everything we know so little has changed. Leopold makes a strong case for personal responsibility and ethics ie. not mandated by the government, he was a conservative vision of environmental stewardship ca 1949. However 21st century conservatives have gone so far to the right not only do they disagree with environmentalism on the face of it, they actively encourage and seek outright environmental destruction, while disparaging sane and rationale classic American books like this one. ( )
  Stbalbach | Jan 30, 2020 |
Aldo is what some would call an environmentalist wacko, which he certainly was. Typical government elitist who condemned the prior owner who couldn’t farm the land profitably and was forced to abandon the land . Mr, Leopoldo then purchased the land for pennies on the dollar. Aldo never understood that the hapless chap was a victim of Aldo’s employer’s ruinous monetary policy. Suitable for only the naive tree hugger. Three stars for being an above average coffee table cover. ( )
  4bonasa | Dec 31, 2019 |
I first read this book abt. 45 years ago. Since it was published in 1949, the world has changed greatly. Most of the wilderness Leopold advocated for is gone and we are on a planet that by the end of the 21st century, will see mass extinction. I won't be here then but my children, grandchildren and their children will curse us for our arrogance in the pursuit of money and pleasure. ( )
  LeonardSmith1 | Nov 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aldo Leopoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lucio-Villegas, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riechmann, JorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riechmann, JorgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
Quotations
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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First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite, A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land.As the forerunner to such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch's The Primal Place, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was nearly sixty years ago.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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