In his introduction to this superb anthology, McKibben (The End of Nature) proposes that environmental writing is Americas most distinctive contribution to the worlds literature. The collected pieces amply prove the point. Arranged chronologically, McKibbens selection of more than 100 writers includes some of the great early conservationists, such as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and John Burroughs, and many other eloquent nature writers, including Donald Cultross Peattie, Edwin Way Teale and Henry Beston.
The early exponents of national parks and wilderness areas have their say, as do writers who have borne witness to environmental degradation John Steinbeck and Caroline Henderson on the dust bowl, for example, and Berton Roueche and others who have reported on the effects of toxic pollution. Visionaries like Buckminster Fuller and Amory Lovins are represented, as are a wealth of contemporary activist writers, among them Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollan, Paul Hawken, and Calvin deWitt, cofounder of the Evangelical Environmental Network. McKibbens trenchant introductions to the pieces sum up each writers thoughts and form a running commentary on the progress of the conservation movement.
The book, being published on Earth Day, can be read as a survey of the literature of American environmentalism, but above all, it should be enjoyed for the sheer beauty of the writing. 80-page color illus, not seen by PW.
Jim Stone turned to photography while studying engineering at MIT. His photographs have been exhibited and published internationally, and collected by the Museum of Modern Art, Bostons Museum of Fine Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many others. Six of his books, A Users Guide to the View Camera, Darkroom Dynamics, A Short Course in Photography and A Short Course in Digital Photography (both with Barbara London), Photography 10th Edition, and Photography The Essential Way (both books with Barbara London and John Upton), are in wide and continued use for university level courses, and there have been three artist books published of his photographs, Stranger Than Fiction (Light Work, 1993), Historiostomy (Piltdown Press, 2001), and Why My Pictures are Good (Nazraeli Press, 2005).
Stone has received awards from the Massachusetts Arts Council, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The San Francisco Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For several years he served on the board of directors for the Society for Photographic Education and Boston Photographic Resource Center. He taught formerly at Boston College and the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently he is Professor of Photography at the University of New Mexico.