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Aldo Leopold's Southwest Paperback – March 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0826315809 ISBN-10: 0826315801

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Aldo Leopold's Southwest + The River of the Mother of God: and other Essays by Aldo Leopold + Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826315801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826315809
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,171,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This book ought to be a prerequisite for all those interested in the conservation movement." -- High Country News

Aldo Leopold's Southwest collects 26 of Aldo Leopold's little-known essays and articles published between 1915 and 1948. Leopold worked for the United States Forest Service in New Mexico and Arizona from 1909 to 1924. While employed as a forester in the Southwest, he developed his ecological ideas in articles written for newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and journals. Hitherto unavailable to the general public, these pieces show that Leopold was not born an ecologist. On a daily basis, the young forester grappled with concrete ecological problems and groped for practical solutions. He made mistakes and learned hard lessons from them. The sum of his experience is the ecological wisdom of his class A Sand County Almanac, first published in 1949. The editors have arrange this collection to show Leopold evolving from a naive forester to a mature professional and finally to a passionate environmental advocate. They follow each article with useful commentaries on its significance to the development of Leopold's philosophy. -- Midwest Book Review

From the Inside Flap

Gathers the pre-Sand Country Almanac writings of Aldo Leopold, showing that he was not born an ecologist, but evolved over time through experimentation and thought.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Alcock on March 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book provides an excellent chance to learn more about Aldo Leopold, one of the most important conservationists ever. The editors have assembled a highly instructive sample of Leopold's essays and articles written throughout his career. The essays provide insights into Leopold's development from a predator-destroying wildlife manager to world-class conservationist. The editors' introductory essays to sets of Leopold's writings are themselves first-rate. Brown and Carmony provide the reader with the historical context for understanding the significance of Leopold's essays as his career unfolded. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel F. Styer on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Aldo Leopold was a master in the science, practice, and philosophy of land conservation and appreciation. He grew up in Iowa, studied in New Jersey and Connecticut, but had his first lasting and significant encounter with wild nature in the Southwest of the United States. He went to Arizona before it became a state in the Union. The stories and lessons from his time there remained with him for his entire life. (As did his wife Estella, who also came from Arizona.) The most moving essays in his masterwork "Sand County Almanac" are set in Arizona and New Mexico.

The essays collected in this volume come from his early years in the Southwest rather than from his later reflections. They are full of enthusiasm and critical thinking, but they lack the splendid evocative writing of his mature style.

A special treat of this book are the brief notes on each essay by editors David Brown and Neil Carmony. In an essay, Leopold might make a certain deduction concerning some facet of land use. Brown and Carmony then remark on whether additional research has supported or overturned that deduction. Leopold might make a certain policy recommendation. Brown and Carmony tell whether the policy was adopted and whether it had the desired effect. The editors admirably resist the tug of hagiography, and give frank assessments of Leopold's shortcomings as well has his foresightedness.

I'll be straightforward: I loved this book. But I'm a Leopold fanatic -- I'd love anything he wrote. If you're not yet a fanatic, I recommend that you start with "Sand County Almanac", then move on to either "River of the Mother of God" or "For the Health of the Land". Once you're hooked, you'll enjoy this volume as much as I did.
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