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Lesson Plans


"Tom Bailey" <bailey>: Reading

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
bob carl (bcarl28)
Fri, 1 May 1998 15:51:19 -0400


--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: "Tom Bailey" <bailey>
To: bcarl28
Subject: Reading List--Bibliography Part 2
Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 07:58:24 -0400
Message-ID: <199805010758240990.04926179>
References: <199804290804510450.03731159>

For those interested, here's the second installment of the bibliography I
started sending the other day. This section focuses on the
nature-humanity
connection.

Tom Bailey,
Little Traverse Conservancy,
Michigan

NATURE AND THE NATURE-HUMANITY CONNECTION:

THE BIOPHILIA HYPOTHESIS by Stephen Kellert and Edward Wilson, Island
Press, 1993. The introductory portions contain wonderful prose about why
people have a natural affinity for other life forms and certain types of
landscapes; the remainder of the book details scholarly research that
supports the theory. Also explored are corollaries such as biophobia--a
natural aversion to things like spiders and snakes. This book is a great
one for anybody with an interest in exploring the very real need that
people have for nature in their lives.

THE GEOGRAPHY OF CHILDHOOD by Gary Paul Nabhan and Stephen Trimble,
Beacon
Press, 1994. This wonderful book is subtitled "why children need wild
places," and will strike a chord in anyone who has fond memories of the
outdoors from the growth years. It also supports the need to set aside
wild places for our children. Many of us in conservation are aware of
how
we have been shaped by our outdoor experiences, but this book brings the
issue to the surface and makes a great case for saving wild places for
our
children's sake.

ECOPSYCHOLOGY edited by Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes and Allen D.
Kanner,
Sierra Club Books, 1995 is a compendium of work on emerging views of the
nature-humanity connection from a psychological standpoint. Everything
from shamanism to ecofeminism to more conventional psychology is
discussed
in this broad and fascinating collection. Too broad and far-reaching to
be
adequately addressed here, this book has created quite a bit of
excitement
among both environmentalists and psychologists. Also included in the
book
is an extensive "suggested reading" section for those who may want to
sample further.

MY NAME IS CHELLIS AND I'M IN RECOVERY FROM WESTERN CIVILIZATION by
Chellis
Glendinning, Shambhala, 1994. The author is a psychologist, recovering
from childhood sexual abuse. She makes the case for viewing western
humanity's separation from the earth and from the ways of nature as a
trauma that needs to be healed--and which can be healed at both the
individual and societal levels. Interesting and very readable, the book
contrasts western civilization with the ways of nature-based indigenous
peoples of the world in a number of interesting ways. The book stops
short
of recommending that we all go "back to primitive ways", but offers ideas
about how we can recover from our broken relationship with nature.

THE ECOLOGY OF COMMERCE by Paul Hawken, Harper Collins, 1993. Co-founder
of the Smith and Hawken mail order firm, Paul Hawken has developed a
great
reputation as an advocate of sustainable commerce. In this well-written
work, Hawken explores ideas about sustainable commerce ranging from the
very general to the very specific. It translates a lot of the feelings
many of us have about the human-environment relationship into economic
terms. An excellent book for those who agree that environmentalists need
to learn more about economics, and a good primer on ideas for a
sustainable
economy.

AN UNSPOKEN HUNGER by Terry Tempest Williams, Vintage, 1994. Essays by a
naturalist who grew up in the Great Basin area, this collection includes
works on nature and naturalists. Strong prose, powerful images and
intimate identification with the land are characteristics of this
collection of works on such diverse subjects as Africa's Serengeti,
Edward
Abbey, the feminine nature of bears, the erotics of place, nuclear
testing
and much more. Anyone who identifies with the land, or who wants to
understand more about people who do, will appreciate this collection. As
stark and powerful as the southwestern country with which she identifies,
Terry Tempest Williams' writing is passionate and clear. Her other works
should also be of interest, in particular Refuge (Vintage, 1992).

THE WAY OF THE EARTH, subtitled Native America and the Environment, by
John
Bierhorst, William Morrow, 1994. This is a scholarly though very
readable
work on American Indian culture, myth and relationships with the
environment. Native cultures from Alaska to South America are discussed
in
this volume, which is one of this respected author's 25 works on the
traditional lore of the Americas. Though spiritual traditions and
beliefs
are discussed, this is more a study or survey of ideas and practices than
a
work about spiritual matters themselves. An excellent overview.

THE WAY OF THE EARTH, subtitled Encounters with Nature in Ancient and
Contemporary Thought, by T.C. McLuhan Simon & Schuster, 1994 draws upon
both traditional cultures and contemporary thought to present an
interesting and very informed look at attitudes toward the earth from the
cultures of Aboriginal Australia, Japan, Greece, Africa, South America
and
the native peoples of North America. Much of the book's material is
quotations from the various cultures examined. Striking similarities
across cultural lines become obvious in reviewing the various cultures'
views of the earth, while interesting contrasts also present themselves.
Well documented with notes and includes an extensive bibliography.

THE WOLVES OF ISLE ROYALE: A BROKEN BALANCE by Rolf O. Peterson with
forward by L. David Mech. Willow Creek Press, 1995. This book chronicles
the history of the longest running predator-prey study in the world: the
wolves and moose of Michigan's Isle Royale National Park. Remarkable
photos and vivid accounts of wolf-moose interaction, as well as important
information about this landmark study. Important questions are raised
about resource management in our National Parks. The book shows the
author
to be a scientist with a heart. He writes, "we should think of our
national parks as both laboratories and cathedrals. There is genuine
creative tension between science and soul, reason and myth... Science
simply illuminates in a modest way that which invigorates the human soul.
Let no park manager or scientist forget the importance of the latter!"
Need we say more? A great read for anyone interested in the moose-wolf
balance and important issues in resource management and National Park
policy.

THE END OF NATURE by Bill McKibben, Anchor/Doubleday, 1989 not only
sounds
the alarm about global climate change, it also proposes that nature, as a
set of processes apart from humanity, no longer exists. Because humans
have altered the very climate in which life evolves, McKibben argues that
the earth is now controlled by humanity, not nature. It is a provocative
thesis. Quite a bit of the book is devoted to developing the central
idea.
Toward the end of the work, things get more interesting with discussions
about "paths of more resistance" as McKibben describes them. He wrestles
with his own recognition that drastic changes need to be made by humans,
and yet openly states that he's not sure he wants to change his lifestyle
to the extent that might be required. Lots to think about in this one,
it
is well written and though a bit dated, a very important work.

THE SPELL OF THE SENSUOUS by David Abram, Pantheon, 1996, is a serious
book
of philosophical observations about how much of humanity has alienated
itself from nature. Comparing western society with that of indigenous or
nature-based peoples, Abram uses the development of language and the
phonetic alphabet as a vehicle for exploring ways we have distanced
ourselves from the natural world around us. Fully documented with
well-researched footnotes, this is a serious book which is at times hard
to
read. However, for anyone with a serious interest in exploring the ways
in
which we relate--or fail to relate--to the natural world, it is well
worth
the effort. Those who have read Roszak's Ecopsychology will recognize
the
introduction, "the Ecology of Magic" which is reproduced in Roszak's
book.
The jacket notes accurately refer to this as "a major work of ecological
philosophy, one that startles the senses out of habitual ways of seeing
and
hearing, awakening us to our immersion in a living world."

ISHMAEL by Daniel Quinn, Bantam, 1992, is an engaging novel about a man's
work with a most unconventional teacher to gain insight into why and how
our culture has become so obsessed with human dominance and ownership of
the natural world. Differences between agricultural-industrial society
and
the few remaining indigenous nature-based cultures are explored in a most
interesteing and readable adventure. The adventure begins with this
advertisement, encountered by the man who is about to begin his
interesting
explorations: "TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL. Must have an earnest desire to save
the world. Apply in person." Interesting, meaningful, and fun.

IN SERVICE OF THE WILD, by Stephanie Mills, Beacon Press 1995, is about
restoration and reinhabitation of environments ravaged by human
exploitation and manipulation. Using a Scotch Pine plantation on her
Leelanau Peninsula acreage as an example from time to time, the author
writes about the challenges of restoration. Heavily influenced by Aldo
Leopold, the author visited Leopold's Sand County farm and describes
meeting Leopold family members. The outlook for restoration is
uncertain,
though Mills is an optimist. An interesting and worthwhile read.

A BICENTENNIAL MALTHUSIAN ESSAY, BY John F. Rohe, Rhodes & Easton, 1997,
revisits the work of Thomas Robert Malthus concerning the growth of human
population. For anyone interested in the whole idea of carrying
capacity
and limits to growth, this book represents a most interesting and
informative update on Malthus' work. When it comes right down to it,
most
environmental issues relate in one way or another to human population,
and
this book is at the center of that issue. Interesting, fact-filled, and
provocative.

--------- End forwarded message ----------

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