Up next in American Wilderness…

The quintessential study, now a classic. Interesting Preface to the Fourth Edition of a book first published in 1967, an intellectual history of American ideas about wilderness from their European roots to an epilogue considering the contemporary “ethical and biocentric relevance of wilderness.” That last sounds especially intriguing, as Nash promises to “veer away from the hallowed (if always somewhat hollow) traditions of academic objectivity. I have tenure now; in fact, I’m retired!…So I can come out of the closet. I like wilderness.” I read this quickly while working on my dissertation, but am frankly enjoying it much more this time through, and looking forward to my seminar’s discussion: one student dutifully beats the drum of “gender, gender!” while another intensely focuses on issues of class surrounding wilderness and access/experience. (We move in the next few weeks into more recent scholarship that will more directly–and hopefully more satisfactorily–address some of those kinds of themes.)

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