Our Natural History

Daniel B. Botkin, Author
Daniel B. Botkin, Author Putnam Publishing Group $25.95 (300p) ISBN 978-0-399-14048-8
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-399-52242-0
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-19-516829-7
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This intriguing volume begins with Lewis and Clark's search for a pass in the Rocky Mountain wilderness; it ends with the author's search for original prairie in Omaha, Nebraska. Botkin (Discordant Harmony: A New Ecology for the Twenty-first Century) describes the American West as seen by Lewis and Clark in 1804-06 and compares it with today's West as shaped by industrial civilization. It is a unique picture of frontier wilderness, interwoven with Botkin's own perspective on nature. He maintains that our present approach to environmental issues is based on faulty beliefs, mythologies and religious convictions. The records of Lewis and Clark are valuable for helping us understand what nature was like before we changed it. Botkin notes that we rarely approach conservation with the methodical intensity found in the explorers' journals. He has given us a fresh and welcome perspective on that historic expedition. BOMC selection. (May)
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