Americans love to colonize their beaches. But when storms threaten, high-ticket beachfront construction invariably takes precedence over coastal environmental concerns--we rescue the buildings, not the beaches. As Cornelia Dean explains in Against the Tide, this pattern is leading to the rapid destruction of our coast. But her eloquent account also offers sound advice for salvaging the stretches of pristine American shore that remain.The story begins with the tale of the devastating hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900--the deadliest natural disaster in American history, which killed some six thousand people. Misguided residents constructed a wall to prevent another tragedy, but the barrier ruined the beach and ultimately destroyed the town's booming resort business. From harrowing accounts of natural disasters to lucid ecological explanations of natural coastal processes, from reports of human interference and construction on the shore to clear-eyed elucidation of public policy and conservation interests, this book illustrates in rich detail the conflicting interests, short-term responses, and long-range imperatives that have been the hallmarks of America's love affair with her coast. Intriguing observations about America's beaches, past and present, include discussions of Hurricane Andrew's assault on the Gulf Coast, the 1962 northeaster that ravaged one thousand miles of the Atlantic shore, the beleaguered beaches of New Jersey and North Carolina's rapidly vanishing Outer Banks, and the sand-starved coast of southern California. Dean provides dozens of examples of human attempts to tame the ocean--as well as a wealth of lucid descriptions of the ocean's counterattack. Readers will appreciate Against the Tide's painless course in coastal processes and new perspective on the beach.
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.
Hailed by The New York Times as "a passionately felt, deeply poetic book," the moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness.Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man's stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey's reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau's Walden, Desert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life's mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.
An exquisite and powerful harvest, this - truly a Book of Common Prayer for our planet's people in this time.
JOANNA MACY, author of 'Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age'
Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day -- as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?
Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.
Many people have a special place where they go to experience nature. Perhaps it is a cabin, or a campsite, or a favorite hiking trail. For Sigurd Olson it was a bare glaciated spit of rock in the magnificent Quetico-Superior country of northern Minnesota. He called it his Listening Point, and it is at the center of his book of the same name.
Listening Point is Olson's second book, with over 40,000 copies sold in hardcover. Strikingly illustrated with drawings by Francis Lee Jaques, this book tells the story of Olson's Listening Point from his first night sleeping there under the stars to the eventual building of a cabin. "From this one place I would explore the entire north and all life, including my own", he writes. "For me it would be a listening-post from which I might even hear the music of the spheres".
Through deeply personal stories, Olson brings life in the woods alive. He traces the history of a fallen leaf, explains the power of a canoe paddle cutting through the water, and the magic of listening to the rain pour on his tent flaps.
"Listening Point is dedicated to recapturing this almost forgotten sense of wonder and learning from rocks and trees and all the life that is found there, truths that can encompass all", he writes. "Through a vein of rose quartz at its tip can be read the geological history of the planet, from an old pine stump the ecological succession of the plant kingdom, from an Indian legend the story of the dreams of all mankind".
Considered by some to contain Olson's most vivid and moving passages, Listening Point is the nature lover's companion for hearing the depth and beauty of the great outdoors.
"With a poet's lyric voice, a guide's authorityand a warrior's commitment to his beloved canoe country wilderness, Sig Olson became the 'Voice of the North' to a generation of readers. He stands comfortably among the pantheon of great American nature writers -- Thoreau and Muir, Burroughs and Krutch, Leopold, Eiseley and Teale; but like one of his great sentinel pines, he also stands alone". Douglas Wood, author of Old Turtle
John Henricksson's neighbors stop by to chat or to have a bite to eat or just to sit and watch. But in his Wild Neighborhood the visitors are the black bear, gray jay, timber wolf, owl, white-tailed deer, raven, and the moose.
A Wild Neighborhood is a collection of elegantly written essays about these creatures. From kitchen-table gossip about the black bear's recent attempts to raid the bird feeder, to the retelling of Native American myths about the mischievous raven, Henricksson shows a love and understanding of the residents with whom he shares the narrow wedge of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota.
Henricksson writes of the personal relationships that develop while living in the woods. He tells of the joy of helping a deer survive a tough winter and the mystery of animals he calls "ghosts" -- species that are extinct or near extinct but still have a fleeting presence in the area.
This personal account of a vibrant community in the woods will appeal to readers of all ages and make a beautiful gift for everyone who has admired the creatures of his or her own wild neighborhood.
For years, Tom Brown, Jr. has made a bestselling name for himself as the guru of nature, meditation, and mysticism with his extraordinary messages of hope for our earth and our inner selves. Founder of the Wilderness Survival School, Brown now shares his vision of harmony in a wilderness guide that has become a bible for both spiritualists and nature lovers.