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Of Rock and Rivers: Seeking a Sense of Place in the American West Hardcover – June 8, 2009
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"The intricately detailed book is written in a lolling, peaceful way. . . . [It] reads like a beautiful novel."--"Deseret News"
"Geomorphology may not have a mother, but Of Rock and Rivers proves that Ellen Wohl is the field's sharp-eyed daughter."--"Earth Magazine"
"This book has all the qualities to make us appreciate even more the riches nature has to offer."--G. Cornelissen-Guillaume"The Key Reporter" (06/17/2011)
This book has all the qualities to make us appreciate even more the riches nature has to offer. --G. Cornelissen-Guillaume"The Key Reporter" (06/17/2011)"
From the Inside Flap
"Ellen Wohl tells stories of the West beyond myth, stories of her own and her students' explorations of the land's dynamic past-into-present. How Americans have settled and used western lands owes much to myths of superabundance and inexhaustibility of a seemingly pristine world. The reality is dynamic change that too often has resulted in contamination and depletion."Lauret E. Savoy, coeditor of Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology and The Colors of Nature
Top Customer Reviews
My daughter suggested that I read this lovely book by Ellen Wohl -- who is a Professor of Geology at Colorado State. Her specialty is fluvial geomorphology. In every day terms this means how moving water shapes a landscape over time. The book is a marvel of beautiful, poetic writing that will fill your mind with images of the American West. All of it is wonderful but I particularly loved her descriptions of rafting on the Grand Canyon. You can see her maturing as a scientist and human being with each passing page as she describes her family's move from the Midwest to Arizona and her many outings into mountain and canyon.
If you like John McPhee, you'll likely enjoy this book but her writing style is different. She comes at the landscape with the mind and eye of a scientist but with a lyrical spirit that comes across in the writing. Not many scientists are good communicators and even fewer can really write well. Dr. Wohl is an exceptional writer and one can only hope that she follows this book up with more to come.
If you have a love of the west, wild places, canyons, rocks and rivers and want a deeper understanding of how humans have shaped and are shaping the land we inhabit -- you should read this. I wish the photos were in color but they are nice and really, it's the great descriptive writing that's the star here.