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A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There Paperback – December 31, 1968

4.5 out of 5 stars 340 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (December 31, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195007778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195007770
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.5 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on December 21, 1999
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently had lunch with Stan Temple, a senior fellow at the Aldo Leopold foundation. He told me that this edition is not true to original text Leopold used. Apparently the type setter or copy editor was an ardent creationist and excised all references to evolution in this edition. It seemed hard to believe to me, but I confirmed it. For example, in "Marshland Elegy" Leopold writes,

"The other members of the fauna in which he originated are long since entombed within the hills. When we hear his call we hear no mere bird. We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution. He is the symbol of our untamable past, of that incredible sweep of millennia which underlies and conditions the daily affairs of birds and men."

However in this edition, the sentence "We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution" is absent.

Aldo Leopold is one of my personal heroes and Sand County Almanac is one of the finest pieces of environmental and philosophic writing. However, I'd suggest buying a different edition.
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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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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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