The Necessity of Empty Places

Paul Gruchow, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-312-02198-6
Gruchow ( Journal of a Prairie Year ) here captures the unconventional beauty of the West with landscapes of the U.S. and presents a compelling case for their preservation. Indicting our cultural penchant for reshaping nature (``Our backyards have become as regular and predictable as our McDonalds''), the author contends that we are putting ourselves on the endangered species list: ``We may have lost our awe of nature, but its power remains, and to the extent that we are unmindful of that power, we are less, not more, secure.'' The book is primarily a celebration of those rugged places that still permit us to see that power. The occasional digressionsan anecdote about John Berryman or a hymn remembered from boyhoodserve to refresh rather than obstruct, and are neatly tied in with the main narrative. Whether tracing the remnants of the Oregon Trail or traversing the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, Gruchow describes, instructs and reflects with the self-assurance of one in complete command of his subject. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-312-03889-2
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