The University of Wisconsin Press

Literature and Criticism / American Studies / Environmental Science / Ecology

Nature's Kindred Spirits
Aldo Leopold, Joseph Wood Krutch, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, and Gary Snyder
ames I. McClintock

Aldo Leopold, Joseph Wood Krutch, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, Gary Snyder—these writers have movingly recorded their encounters with nature.

In Nature's Kindred Spirits James McClintock shows how their mystical experiences with the wild led to dramatic conversions in their thinking and behavior. By embracing the ecstasy of nature, they reject modern alienation and spiritual confusion. From Aldo Leopold, America's most important conservationist and author of the classic A Sand County Almanac, to Pulitzer Prize winners Annie Dillard and Gary Snyder and defenders of the desert Joseph Wood Krutch and Edward Abbey, these writers share a common vision that harkens back to Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. To nineteenth-century Romantic ideals, they add the authority of modern ecological science. Collectively they have elevated nature's importance in American culture, shaping the growth of the environmental movement and influencing American environmental policies.

Widely admired among educated readers but relatively neglected by the literary establishment, these writers unite the experiential with the metaphysical, the ordinary with the sacred, the personal with the public, and the natural with the social. Using ecology as a touchstone, McClintock further draws connections among science, politics, religion, and philosophy to create an enlightening overview of the work of these "kindred spirits."

"A superb book, informative and enjoyable, that will appeal to the many loyal readers of nature writers. But it will also find use in the many new courses that explore the cultural and literary aspects of environmental studies, for it furthers understanding of the development of modern environmental thought, of nature writing in general, and of these writers in particular."—Curt Meine, author of Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work

James I. McClintock is distinguished professor of English and director of the American Studies Program at Michigan State University. He has also taught in science and technology programs. He is the author of White Logic: Jack London's Short Stories.

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Cover of book is tan with an image of a mountain.

April 1994
LC: 93-038110 PS
200 pp.    6 x 9    7 line illus.

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Paper $19.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-14174-5
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