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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 (230 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


"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
304 of 321 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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21 of 21 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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Conservation/outdoors Classic December 11, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Long considered the first book on conservation, this should be read by everyone. The author's love of land, wildlife and nature are fully expressed. Those thoughts are followed by philosophizing on conservation - ethics, practice, economics, etc. Written in the nascent stages of conservation in this country, a time when it was more thought than practice, the issues still resonate today. One sees the difficulties both in expanding environmental conservation as well as the pitfalls and errors made in the area (with all good intent) since the forties when Leopald wrote.
Interestingly, especially to me as someone who hunts, much is written in the context of hunting. He also has some insightful words about why people do hunt as a connection to nature. As only a hunter can, he identifies the hunter's reverance for the land and nature.
Portions of this were assigned when I was in college. Now, 28 years later, the entirety means much more. It should be required reading for everyone, especially lovers of the outdoors.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 1 day 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 5 days ago by constant reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Kind of reminds me of Thoreau, On Walden Pond
Published 8 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 20 days 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 1 month ago by Dieter Scheugenpflug
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tabletop book!
The author's reflective, narrative style, made me visualize the setting, in each story. Photography was beautiful. I gave this book, as a gift, to my father and he loved it!
Published 1 month ago by Teena Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars conservation class
Beautifully written and a treasure to anyone who loves nature. Many of Aldo's ideas are shared with us in the present.
Published 2 months ago by Electra M Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Published in 1949, Sand County Almanac was the work of Aldo Leopold, a professor at the University of Wisconsin: Madison, ecologist and active environmentalist. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jesse Womack
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