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A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River [Kindle Edition]

Aldo Leopold , Charles W. Schwartz
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.
Written with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature, the book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation. As the forerunner of 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 forty years ago.


Editorial Reviews

Review


"One of the seminal works of the environmental movement."--The Boston Globe


"I have used this text for twenty years and will continue to use it....It should be required reading for every high school senior."--Walter L. Cook, Jr., University of Georgia


"An inspirational classic--as relevant today as it was when first published in 1949."--Paul S. Miko, University of New Mexico


"We can place this book on the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir."--The San Francisco Chronicle


"It is safe to assume that A Sand County Almanac will be read for decades, and probably centuries to come."--William Vogt


"Any student of the natural resources and the environment is not yet educated if he or she has not read A Sand County Almanac."--Paul T. Tueller, University of Nevada at Reno


"A classic book, good to have in a [relatively] inexpensive edition."--Professor Marshall Spector, State University of New York


"A fine book--Robert Finch's introduction enhances a classic text."--Luther Erickson, Grinnell College


"Beautiful edition!"--Abby Lito, Middlebury College


"Special edition comments put this classic in needed perspective for modern students."--Burton E. Vaughan, Ph.D., Washington State University


About the Author

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) began his professional career in 1909 when he joined the U.S. Forest Service. In 1924 he became Associate Director of the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, and in 1933 the University of Wisconsin created a chair of game management for him.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
305 of 322 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ballantine version is censored June 6, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I would give the actual ORIGINAL version of the text a 5 star rating, and indeed do so for the Oxford University Press edition. That version is slightly more expensive in Paperback, but has a better introduction and, more importantly, is actually printed as originally written by Leopold. The Ballantine version has been censored by the publisher to remove several sentences which either explcitly use the word "evolution" or which imply it.

Granted, these are only a few sentences out of the entire book. But it makes this work something other than the work which is seminal in the field of environmental philosophy and naturalism, and such censorship is intrinsically objectionable-note also that the publisher nowhere in this book tells you that such alterations have been made nor is this version described as an abridged or edited version. Further, this change makes this version unacceptable for use in teaching science courses where censorship because of ideology or market share is beyond the pale.

If you find any hint of evolution to be distracting (for one reason or another) from the fine naturalistic writing in which Leopold engages (evolution is not central to his argument or description), or are too cash-strapped to shell out an extra few bucks for the OUP edition or something at your local used book store or don't have the time to go to the library, by all means purchase this version. It is similar in most ways to Leopold's written work. But this is not to be mistaken for that work in its entirety.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic December 21, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a profoundly insightful and important book that ranks among the most significant American books of the Twentieth Century. It would be a mistake to describe this book as "nature writing" per se, or of that genre. It is a series of essays in wonderful prose in which nature, outdoor settings or situations provide the backdrop. But it is not written as a naturalist droning about the wonders of some aspect of nature. It is an inspired and deeply insightful description, by a man who clearly has a deep understanding of how nature works, about the ethical dimensions of our relationship with the land and our environment generally. Despite the simple elegance of the writing style, it can be seen (and I know from biographical information) the author draws from a vast experience and knowledge far outside the confines of the wildlife management, which was his professon. The ideas expressed, and the many quotable passages are a treasure trove for anyone interested in broad ideas, not to mention readers whose professions involve recreation, wildlife, natural resources management, the environment, and the teaching of these disciplines as well as ethics, philosophy, and english literature. In sum, this is a must read for virtually anyone who wishes to be familar with important American literature, as well as those with a particular interest in the environment, environmental ethics and philosophy.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing Round River November 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Kindle edition is missing many chapters found in the MM paperback edition (Part III, A Taste For Country is almost entirely missing, and Part IV is combined with a small portion of what part III is in this edition). Since this is a text for class, and a good read besides, I am quite disappointed. Aldo Leopold and the book itself would get a 5 star rating. This edition however, leaves much to be desired.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sand County Almanac is my favorite of all books. February 9, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Aldo Leopold's brief book is a lyrical and poeitic expression of the passion and reverence that the author had for the natural world. Just a piece of wasteland, an old farm, is transformed for the reader into the magic place it was to Leopold. "...I am glad that I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map." expresses Leopold's wish for the preservation of wild places of solitude where nature abounds. A Sand County Almanac has provided me with a wealth of wonderful quotes for my environment and biology classes.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Book. June 20, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is timeless. It includes many of Aldo Leopold's writings.
Any one interested in conservation needs to read this book. He is quoted so often by people but I have never read his book. It is a good read and will stay on your reference shelf for many years to come.
This is also the version that is still sold at Aldo Leopold center located on his farm near Baraboo, Wisconsin.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a mountain. July 24, 2002
Format:Paperback
The "Almanac" has been published several ways during the past fifty years, I strongly recommend the book published by Oxford University Press. It includes Thinking like a Mountain, The Land Ethic, and other important essays.
From Leopold's Sketches: "Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language."
Scientist, educator, forester, philosopher, writer -- Aldo Leopold appears to many as something of an enigma. In his earlier writings, Leopold was a very different man than we find in this volume. In Leopold's own words: "I was young then, and full or trigger-itch." This insightful classic is a gentle, scholarly, fatherly collection of essays, observations and stories. Like Thoreau's Walden, it is revered, loved and widely imitated. Leopold: "Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf. ... The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have ... rivers washing the future into the sea."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great insight into the minds of people a century ago. A wonderful read.
Published 1 hour ago by Wendy Casperson
3.0 out of 5 stars ... idea of a land ethic strikes me as a better idea than further...
The author's idea of a land ethic strikes me as a better idea than further government regulation about land use. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Trey Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the finest books ever written.
Published 13 days ago by Phil Burton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 18 days ago by G'man
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing and good information and food for thought
Another of my forever favorites. Great writing and good information and food for thought.
Published 22 days ago by constant reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Kind of reminds me of Thoreau, On Walden Pond
Published 25 days ago by Scruples
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of an ecologist
To me, the Sand County Almanac is one of the best first steps into naturalism and ecology. I understand that it is not for everybody; it is a collection of essays more than it is a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by David W. Ranseen
5.0 out of 5 stars For nature lovers and novices alike
This is a beautiful book. Decades after its release, the late Aldo Leopold's signature work remains a concise, easy-to-read, poignant message about the importance of nature in our... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Josh VanBrakle
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing writing
When was the last time you saw a natural forest, prairie, marsh, or waterway untouched by humans? Instead, we see concrete, roads, buildings, and the infrastructure of our modern... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stretchkev
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the conservationist in all of us!
A wonderful book that will always be insightful and educational. I learn something new each and every time I read it.
Published 2 months ago by Dieter Scheugenpflug
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