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Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark Paperback – August 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nevada Press (August 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874173280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874173284
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This collection makes a unique contribution to environmental writing.   This is simply a wonderful idea for an anthology, and the writing is vibrant and insightful.”  --Bradley John Monsma, author of The Sespe Wild: Southern California’s Last Free River  

“Let There Be Night
celebrates the gifts of darkness and mourns the loss of dark skies to light pollution. These fine essays reopen us to the dark, where we learn courage and remember wonder.”  --Stephen Trimble, author of The Sagebrush Ocean: A Natural History of the Great Basin

About the Author

Paul Bogard earned a Ph.D. in literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, and now teaches at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. This is his first book.

More About the Author

Paul Bogard is the author of The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light, published by Little, Brown. He is editor of the anthology Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark. A native Minnesotan, Paul grew up watching the stars and moon from a lake in the northern part of the state. He has lived and taught in New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, and is now assistant professor of English at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Find him at paul-bogard.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ann Vileisis on February 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book SO MUCH that I recommended it to several friends and wrote a review for IDA's Nightscape, which I am posting in its complete version below to share with other readers:

"My daughter, Hannah Virginia, who recently turned three years old, is teaching me about the stars," begins Michael Branch. Every night before bed, the determined three-year old takes her father's hand and insists he take her out to look at the sky. With this nightly ritual, Branch discovers the wonder of stars through a child's eyes and the "brilliant, open secret that if you don't go outside and look up, you won't see anything." His is just one gem in the stunning new collection, Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark, edited by Paul Bogard.
Bogard's inspiration for the book stemmed from deep impressions made by star-studded skies he saw every summer as a child in northern Minnesota coupled with troubling awareness that 80 percent of people now living in North America and Western Europe no longer experience "real night," owing to light pollution. In a short period, the profound and timeless human experience of looking up to find the Milky Way arcing overhead has been vastly diminished. It is this loss that Bogard invites a diverse and talented set of writers, scientists, scholars, and poets to consider.
Through its twenty-nine essays, Let There Be Night takes readers on a wide-ranging and personal journey that includes constellations and galaxies but also death, dawn, myth, moths, sea turtles, soul searches, fireflies, and old-time fire rituals. Many essays explore the meaning, sacredness, and beauty of night.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nancy L. Agneberg on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was found totally by accident--during browsing time at a bookstore. You know how sometimes you just react intuitively about a book--the feel of it, the look of it--and you just know that this is a book that you must read. Well, that was the case with Let There Be Night. I've always loved the night, but more from the perspective that it is the opposite of day. Night as it gives permission to let down, to stop, to rest and rejuvenate, but I have also just accepted night as what is. I've not questioned it or studied it or worried about its existence. Nor appreciated it --enough. Now when I open this book, which is on my bedside table available for occasional reading, I know I will learn something new; feel something unrealized before and when I find myself out in the night, urban or rural, I will look at that night sky with greater fondness and wonder. I have not read each of the essays yet, but each one so far is adding to my "night vision" as Katherine Dean Moore says in the first essay in the collection, "The Gifts of Darkness." I look forward to the next time I spend time with the night in the night.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jessica L. Brown on December 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Let There Be Night is a significant book in that it is one of the first to address the issue of light pollution. It does so through essays in a variety of styles, though many are memoirs or anecdotal in some way. Although the essays largely lack original titles, they come from notable nature writers. Most memorable to me are Kathleen Dean Moore's and Chet Raymo's pieces. What is valuable about this collection is that it allows the issue of light pollution and the value of night to be explored from many different points of view, from the scientific to the anecdotal. One theme that appears frequently is the value of darkness to the experience of childhood and to the biology of "our animal bodies," one of the sections of the book. Thus, the book gives a complete picture of the issue, and most of all a sense of hope. Unlike global warming, light pollution is an issue that is solved with the just flick a switch. Readers discouraged with by the immensity of other environmental problems will find themselves refreshed, renewed, and ready to take action against light pollution Let There Be Night.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Owen Brazell on May 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. Most of the pieces I found to be really interesting and well written. As a deep sky observer the night is important to me and the loss of it I feel very keenly. I think a number of the articles in here reflected the way I feel.
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