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Sacred Trusts: Essays on Stewardship and Responsibility [Paperback]

Michael Katakis , Russell Chatham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

September 1, 1993 1562790560 978-1562790561 2nd Printing
These diverse and sometimes controversial essays redefine the concept of 'stewardship' in its modern context by exploring the fine line between interacting and interfering with nature. Touching on topics that range from catching a brook trout to taming a wild kestrel, the writers explore their own relationships with nature to illustrate and resurrect the dignity and economy of simple living.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cautionary and elegiac, these 30 mostly original essays by nature writers well-known and obscure provoke much thought about our responsibility to our environment. Some writers are pessimistic: Dan O'Brien, lamenting the destruction of the Black Hills, warns that their possible return to the Sioux might bring no improvement; Kris L. Hardin, after observing an African community where little was wasted, suggests that Americans have fought only symbolic environmental battles. Others are meditative: Alston Chase, returning to his Montana ranch roots, argues that only rural people--not urban environmentalists--have a true commitment to nature and to the land. There are some victories: rock climber and clothing maker Yvon Chouinard reports on striving to make his company Patagonia a "sustainable business"; Bill McKibben recalls how his mountain community organized to fight a poorly planned landfill. Amidst the essays on rivers and mountains, that of Robert F. Jones stands out. Arguing that humanism has destroyed nature, he offers Swiftian methods of population control: encourage abortion and assassination, let AIDS and other epidemics run rampant, and give Dr. Kevorkian a Nobel prize. Katakis is the author of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This unique collection of new nature essays forthrightly addresses the environmental conditions and concerns of the 1990s. The contributors include an anthropologist, a filmmaker, and several novelists and fly fishermen and -women as well as established nature writers like Wendell Berry, Gary Nabhan, and Bill McKibben. Subjects range from hiking in Alaska to viniculture in France, and the tone and style vary from the Swiftian satire of Robert F. Jones to John Murray's personal meditation and Wendell Berry's passionate biblical rhetoric. Yet these diverse essays are bound by a single theme summed up succinctly by Mary Katherine Bateson: "Ethics follow efficacy." Because we humans have become so many and so powerful, we must become environmentally responsible; we must reform our greedy, exploitative relationship to the natural world and learn to share the planet's wealth with other species and future generations. For all but the smallest libraries.
- Joan S. Elbers, formerly with Montgomery Coll., Rockville, Md.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Mercury House; 2nd Printing edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562790560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562790561
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,754,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars A balanced mix of personal reflection January 12, 2002
Sacred Trusts: Essays On Stewardship And Responsibility is an impressive anthology showcasing thirty new essays by environmental issues and nature writers ranging from Wendell Berry, Mary Catherine Bateson, and Frederick Turner, to Gary Paul Nabhan, Joan Wulff, and Bill McKibben. The contributors discuss their diverse experiences and attitudes as caretakers of the natural world and include a range of perspectives not commonly found in most collections of environmental commentary. The compelling, entertaining, informative, and occasionally challenging essays are enhanced for the reader with superb illustrations drawn by Russell Chatham. A balanced mix of personal reflection, finely crafted nature writing, and passionate appeals for conservation, Sacred Trusts is a welcome, timely, and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, academic, and community library environmental studies collections and reading lists.
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