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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Book of Yaak Paperback – September 15, 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rick Bass, a prolific writer of considerable merit, has crafted an elegant plea to save the ecosystem of the Yaak Valley in northwestern Montana. Bass argues that the Yaak deserves to be saved, both for its beauty and for its role in a biological system that stretches through much of North America. To enamor readers with the Yaak he describes it with reverence, and in doing so makes us care. "We are all complicit," he says. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Popular outdoor author Bass (Lost Grizzlies, LJ 11/1/95) returns to his home turf in the Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana, also the setting for his Winter Notes from Montana (LJ 2/15/91). As a resident of that remote area for over ten years, Bass seems to have been accepted by the few locals who populate the canyon. Much of this work concerns his attempt to protect the remaining wilderness of the area, a vital corridor for genetic replenishment of wildlife from Canada. As he ponders the question of the worth of such a place, Bass writes countless letters to anyone he feels may aid in stopping the construction of the roads that facilitate logging in the area. Although bitterness occasionally surfaces in his account, the author remains hopeful as he describes attempts to forge alliances with diverse groups of loggers, hunters, and other residents. In the process of reconciling his artistic side (writing) with his scientific training as a geologist, he once again paints a marvelous portrait of life in an area of rugged beauty. Recommended for all public, regional, and nature collections.?Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st edition (September 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395877466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395877463
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rick Bass has a knack for going far beyond the traditional environmentalist arguments about biodiversity and global warming, arguments that have fallen on deaf ears for the past thirty-plus years in this country. In his moving story of the Yaak Valley in northwestern Montana, he does touch on these subjects--the economic and other reasons why the Yaak should be protected from out-of-state corporate interests--but his story is more far-reaching than that. He understands that the value of a forest extends to something less tangible than economics, and he says it as well as any other living writer. His discussion of the correspondences he's had with the Montana Congressional delegation is entertaining and poignant, and his descriptions of natural scenes are visceral and succinct. At times his tone is like that of fellow naturalist Doug Peacock, but his skill with words is far greater. Bass gets a lot of bang out of few words. You'll come away feeling like writing to your Congresspeople. A beautiful and passionate account.
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Format: Paperback
I first came across Rick Bass in the very readable collection "Big Sky Reader." His essay there about accompanying a friend on a fishing trip with several out-of-state fishermen was an enjoyable glimpse into the lives of folks in the thinly populated woods of the far northwestern corner of Montana. It's a self-sufficient kind of life, where people make do with few amenities in exchange for the beauty and solitude of the mountains and the isolation that comes with many months of snow and cold.
That essay, "This Savage Land," appears in this collection of the author's nonfiction. However, instead of the self-effacing, quiet humor of that essay, the rest of this book is a poignant account of an apparently doomed effort to preserve the Yaak River valley as a wilderness and bring a stop to the clear-cut logging that has been steadily turning it into a vast area of devastation. Chapters describing the author's letter-writing campaigns and his trip to Washington DC to make his case before Montana's congressmen alternate with descriptions of walks on the mountains, sighting bears and other wildlife, discoursing on the delicately interrelated flora and fauna, and admiring what is left of the old growth forests. There's also a chapter on the experience of the winter months and another on a summer of fires in the mountains and the role that fire plays in the regeneration and preservation of forests.
Through it all are the themes of loss and the ruinous harm of the logging industry, which he believes is not simply destroying a wilderness area but removing a critical link connecting regions where grizzlies, wolves, and other forms of wilderness wildlife still survive. When that connection is gone, he believes that these creatures will quickly die out.
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Format: Hardcover
Rick Bass bares his deepest feelings about the forest where he lives in northwest Montana. This book is a collection of personal essays, some are straight forward pleas for the reader to take action, that show how important it is to to save the remaining ancient forests, not only in Montana, but anywhere. Other essays describe his experiences with the local people, wildlife, and the forest. Collectively, they all help us to understand the importance of saving our forests from the destructiveness of poor logging practices. Rick's passion for the forest comes through loud and clear. After reading the book, you'll be moved to write your congressperson
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's a chapter in this book about my deceased sister, Rosalind, so this is admittedly a biased review. I apologize if this skews the ratings a little, but I'm indulging myself on this one. For me, it's a lovely tribute to my sister. For those who don't know her, whether you agree with her view of conservation or not, it's a good read because it does a nice job portraying a person with a strong passion for her work, yet was able to carry it out with such good nature and without a shred of self-righteousness. A rare combination for someone so committed to a cause, especially nowadays.
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Format: Paperback
Rick Bass lives in the Yaak Valley of northwest Montana. He wasn't born there, but he came to love the place and has made it his home. The people of the valley make a small, isolated community, with only weak versions of the infrastructure most Americans expect such as roads, telephone service, and shopping opportunities.

This book is a collection of essays, as short as one page long, talking about the Yaak. They are presented in no particular order that I could determine, but that's OK - - Bass doesn't really write essays, he writes poems that look like essays.

The chapters provide lyrical accounts of his love of the valley, daily life there, political activism on its behalf, and the friendships he has in the valley. There are encounters with grizzly bears and politicians, the deaths and illnesses of friends, adventures with a fishing guide, and the pleasures of waiting for the mail.

I find it difficult to describe the book further. Like the Yaak, it is, and it is good that it is.
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Format: Paperback
An absolutely amazing conservation book. Rick Bass does a beautiful job of discussing the condition of a forested area in Montana called the Yaak Valley. This book really gets to me because there are so many places in North America that need help and the government isn't always willing to listen or care because all they care about is the bottom dollar. I will definitely be reading more by Rick Bass in the future.
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