Forests: The Shadow of Civilization

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In this wide-ranging exploration of the role of forests in Western thought, Robert Pogue Harrison enriches our understanding not only of the forest's place in the cultural imagination of the West, but also of the ecological dilemmas that now confront us so urgently. Consistently insightful and beautifully written, this work is especially compelling at a time when the forest, as a source of wonder, respect, and meaning, disappears daily from the earth. Forests is one of the most remarkable essays on the human place in nature I have ever read, and belongs on the small shelf that includes Raymond Williams' masterpiece, The Country and the City. Elegantly conceived, beautifully written, and powerfully argued, [Forests] is a model of scholarship at its passionate best. No one who cares about cultural history, about the human place in nature, or about the future of our earthly home, should miss it.--William Cronon, Yale Review