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Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature Paperback – October 17, 1996
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From Library Journal
S. Maret, Univ. of Colorado, Denver
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An intellectually pathbreaking book.--Daniel J. Kevles
An intellectually pathbreaking book. --Daniel J. Kevles"
The best kind of book, one that shocks the reader into entirely fresh ways of thinking. --Michael Pollan"
Top Customer Reviews
What makes this anthology so important is that many of the essays in it emphasize that our views of the environment, nature, and wilderness are "narratives" that are entangled with religion, culture, politics, and race--not just science. Cronon's introduction explores the concept of "wilderness" through time to the modern preservationist notion of a pristine, human-free zone, and the quandary that idea presents: wilderness preservation requires that all humans be removed from it.
This anthology contains essays about: the "Eden narrative" in Amazonian environmentalism (the Times reported today that the Amazon's indigenous cultures are now extinct); architecture and green space; what the "work" of an environmentalist entails; the role of nationalism in the creation of the park system; a study of the cladistics of ecological thinking in the 1950s; environmentalism as social justice in the inner city, and an essay by Donna Haraway about the role of race and "nature" in science.
My favorite essay, way ahead of its time, is by N. Katherine Hayles, "Simulated Nature and Natural Simulations." This essay addresses the epistemological problem in the distinguishing between the natural and the artificial, exemplified by two studies: the classical ethological modeling of animals as machines and the claim or right to aliveness for a-life computer parasites.
"Uncommon Ground" is just a dip in the waters. Sorely missing from this volume is E.O.Read more ›
The focus is on America. The essays are apolitical and non-partisan. The book had its origin in an interdisciplinary seminar taking place in 1994 at University of California in Irvine, where participants had an unusual opportunity to be paid to think and talk together over several months. The results are fascinatingly diverse perspectives from experts in humanities, history, geography, linguistics, urban architecture, gender studies, consciousness, philosophy and ethics. The writers make exclusively qualitative analyses. The lack of participation from more quantitatively or statistically oriented disciplines is reflected in the lack of statistical corroboration of the topics covered; the overall theme (the need to rethink) and some essays in particular are weakened by unconvincing and unsubstantiated statements.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This anthology of hand-picked articles on the environment and man's relationship with it could be the finest go-to source for students and laymen interested in the subject. Read morePublished 5 months ago by George
This outstanding anthology is more than twenty years old, but nevertheless remains as important as ever. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Michael E. Zimmerman
Cronon’s lead essay in this volume is seminal for environmental thinking. In it, Cronon argues arguing that we cannot conceive nature/wilderness and humans as separate. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Arthur Digbee
Delivered on time and exactly as defined in description.Published on August 23, 2014 by Jan Nonnemacher
Uncommon Ground has done a great job articulating many essays into a collective book on our view of nature. Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Greg
In most of the essays in this book I found ideas I'd never considered that eventually reworked nearly my entire conception of wilderness and mainstream society's relationship with... Read morePublished on October 4, 2010 by C. E. Dye