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Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark Paperback – August 18, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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  • Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This collection makes a unique contribution to environmental writing.   This is simply a wonderful idea for an anthology, and the writing is vibrant and insightful.”  --Bradley John Monsma, author of The Sespe Wild: Southern California’s Last Free River  

“Let There Be Night
celebrates the gifts of darkness and mourns the loss of dark skies to light pollution. These fine essays reopen us to the dark, where we learn courage and remember wonder.”  --Stephen Trimble, author of The Sagebrush Ocean: A Natural History of the Great Basin

About the Author

Paul Bogard earned a Ph.D. in literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, and now teaches at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. This is his first book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nevada Press; 1 edition (August 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874173280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874173284
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book SO MUCH that I recommended it to several friends and wrote a review for IDA's Nightscape, which I am posting in its complete version below to share with other readers:

"My daughter, Hannah Virginia, who recently turned three years old, is teaching me about the stars," begins Michael Branch. Every night before bed, the determined three-year old takes her father's hand and insists he take her out to look at the sky. With this nightly ritual, Branch discovers the wonder of stars through a child's eyes and the "brilliant, open secret that if you don't go outside and look up, you won't see anything." His is just one gem in the stunning new collection, Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark, edited by Paul Bogard.
Bogard's inspiration for the book stemmed from deep impressions made by star-studded skies he saw every summer as a child in northern Minnesota coupled with troubling awareness that 80 percent of people now living in North America and Western Europe no longer experience "real night," owing to light pollution. In a short period, the profound and timeless human experience of looking up to find the Milky Way arcing overhead has been vastly diminished. It is this loss that Bogard invites a diverse and talented set of writers, scientists, scholars, and poets to consider.
Through its twenty-nine essays, Let There Be Night takes readers on a wide-ranging and personal journey that includes constellations and galaxies but also death, dawn, myth, moths, sea turtles, soul searches, fireflies, and old-time fire rituals. Many essays explore the meaning, sacredness, and beauty of night.
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Format: Paperback
This book was found totally by accident--during browsing time at a bookstore. You know how sometimes you just react intuitively about a book--the feel of it, the look of it--and you just know that this is a book that you must read. Well, that was the case with Let There Be Night. I've always loved the night, but more from the perspective that it is the opposite of day. Night as it gives permission to let down, to stop, to rest and rejuvenate, but I have also just accepted night as what is. I've not questioned it or studied it or worried about its existence. Nor appreciated it --enough. Now when I open this book, which is on my bedside table available for occasional reading, I know I will learn something new; feel something unrealized before and when I find myself out in the night, urban or rural, I will look at that night sky with greater fondness and wonder. I have not read each of the essays yet, but each one so far is adding to my "night vision" as Katherine Dean Moore says in the first essay in the collection, "The Gifts of Darkness." I look forward to the next time I spend time with the night in the night.
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I really liked this book. Most of the pieces I found to be really interesting and well written. As a deep sky observer the night is important to me and the loss of it I feel very keenly. I think a number of the articles in here reflected the way I feel.
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This is a collection of stories in praise of the dark night sky and some laments at its loss. Viewing a truly dark night sky is a visceral experience difficult to describe but the editor has found some writers that do a masterful job of it. This subject can be handled in a technical fashion or legal fashion, and these need to be addressed to correct the problems of light pollution but there are other books for that. This book puts the issue in a very readable literary framework. It makes you want to go out and look at the night sky and wonder, and if its not dark enough where you live, make it so, and preserve the places that are still dark.
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Most excellent read and re-read for anyone who seeks to be inspired by the glorious beauty of the night sky! This fine anthology I will take up to read again and again. Each article is unique and profound in its own way! I especially love the article where the author recounts her daughter's saunter under the nighty sky in the dead of night. Daughter shares her delightful youthful experience when mom beckons a response, saying: "So did you see the stars?" Replies daughter, "The stars were all over me!"
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