The bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses now explores the allure of adultery, the appeal of aphrodisiacs, and the cult of the kiss. Enchantingly written and stunningly informed, this " audaciously brilliant romp through the world of romantic love" (Washington Post Book World) is the next best thing to love itself.
The acclaimed author of Refuge here weaves together a resonant and often rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the landscapes she loves, combining the power of her observations in the field with her personal experience--as a woman, a Mormon, and a Westerner. Through the grace of her stories we come to see how a lack of intimacy with the natural world has initiated a lack of intimacy with each other.Williams shadows lions on the Serengeti and spots night herons in the Bronx. She pays homage to the rogue spirits of Edward Abbey and Georgia O'Keeffe, contemplates the unfathomable wildness of bears, and directs us to a politics of place. The result is an utterly persuasive book--one that has the power to change the way we live upon the earth.
In this rich ethnographic study, Kelly D. Alley sheds light on debates about water uses, wastewater management, and the meanings of waste and sacred power. On the Banks of the Ganga analyzes the human predicaments that result from the accumulation and disposal of waste by tracing how citizens of India interpret the impact of wastewater flows on a sacred river and on their own cultural practices.
Alley investigates ethno-semantic, discursive, and institutional data to flesh out the interplay between religious, scientific, and official discourses about the river Ganga. Using a new outward layering methodology, she points out that anthropological analysis must separate the historical and discursive strands of the debates concerning waste and sacred purity in order to reveal the cultural complexities that surround the Ganga. Ultimately, she addresses a deeply rooted cultural paradox: if the Ganga river is considered sacred by Hindus across India, then why do the people allow it to become polluted?
Examining areas of contemporary concern such as water usage and urban waste management in the most populated river basin in the world, this book will appeal to anthropologists and readers in religious, environmental, and Asian studies, as well as geography and law.
Kelly D. Alley is Associate Professor and Director of Anthropology at Auburn University. In addition to being a prolific writer, she has conducted research on public culture and environmental issues in northern India for over a decade. Alley is currently overseeing a project to ameliorate river pollution problems in India.
A manifesto for a radically different philosophy and practice of manufacture and environmentalism
"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as this provocative, visionary book argues, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world?
In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).
Elaborating their principles from experience (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, William McDonough and Michael Braungart make an exciting and viable case for change.
A riveting collection of literary journalism by the bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, capped off brilliantly by a new Afterword and a timely essay about war-torn Afghanistan -- a superb eyewitness report about the Taliban's defeat in Kabul -- new to book form.
Sebastian Junger has made a specialty of bringing to life the drama of nature and human nature. Few writers have been to so many disparate and desperate corners of the globe. Fewer still have met the standard of great journalism more consistently. None has provided more starkly memorable evocations of extreme events. From the murderous mechanics of the diamond trade in Sierra Leone, to an inferno forest fire burning out of control in the steep canyons of Idaho, to the forensics of genocide in Kosovo, this collection of Junger's reporting will take readers to places they need to know about but wouldn't dream of going on their own. In his company we travel to these places, pass through frightening checkpoints, actual and psychological, and come face-to-face with the truth
In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its most random, the other a by-product of rogue technology: Terry's mother, and Terry herself, had been exposed to the fallout of atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms tragedy into a document of renewal and spiritual grace, resulting in a work that has become a classic.
On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen of the United States Forest Service's elite airborne firefighters, the Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or mortally burned. Haunted by these deaths for forty years, Norman Maclean puts back together the scattered pieces of the Mann Gulch tragedy.Young Men and Fire won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992. "A magnificent drama of writing, a tragedy that pays tribute to the dead and offers rescue to the living.... Maclean's search for the truth, which becomes an exploration of his own mortality, is more compelling even than his journey into the heart of the fire. His description of the conflagration terrifies, but it is his battle with words, his effort to turn the story of the 13 men into tragedy that makes this book a classic."--from New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, Best Books of 1992 "A treasure: part detective story, part western, part tragedy, part elegy and wholly eloquent ghost story in which the dead and the living join ranks cheerfully, if sometimes eerily, in a search for truth and the rest it brings."--Joseph Coates, Chicago Tribune "An astonishing book. In compelling language, both homely and elegant, Young Men and Fire miraculously combines a fascinating primer on fires and firefighting, a powerful, breathtakingly real reconstruction of a tragedy, and a meditation on writing, grief and human character.... Maclean's last book will stir your heart and haunt your memory."--Timothy Foote, USA Today "Beautiful.... A dark American idyll of which the language can be proud."--Robert M. Adams, The New York Review of Books "Young Men and Fire is redolent of Melville. Just as the reader of Moby Dick comes to comprehend the monstrous entirety of the great white whale, so the reader of Young Men and Fire goes into the heart of the great red fire and comes out thoroughly informed. Don't hesitate to take the plunge."--Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World "Young Men and Fire is a somber and poetic retelling of a tragic event. It is the pinnacle of smokejumping literature and a classic work of 20th-century nonfiction."--John Holkeboer, The Wall Street Journal "Maclean is always with the brave young dead. . . . They could not have found a storyteller with a better claim to represent their honor. . . . A great book."--James R. Kincaid, New York Times Book Review