Engineering Eden

Author:   Jordan Fisher Smith ,  Jack E Davis (University of Florida)
Publisher:   The Experiment LLC
ISBN:  

9781615195459


Pages:   408
Publication Date:   09 April 2019
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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Engineering Eden


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Overview

When 25-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. In this remarkable excavation of American environmental history, nature writer and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith uses the story of one man's tragic death to tell the larger narrative of the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Moving across time and between Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier National Parks, ENGINEERING EDEN shows how efforts of wilderness management have always been undone by one fundamental problem - that the idea of what is 'natural' dissolves as soon as we begin to examine it, leaving us with little framework to say what wilderness should look like and which human interventions are acceptable in trying to preserve it. In the tradition of John McPhee's THE CONTROL OF NATURE and Alan Burdick's OUT OF EDEN, Jordan Fisher Smith has produced a powerful work of popular science and environmental history, grappling with critical issues that we have even now yet to resolve.

Full Product Details

Author:   Jordan Fisher Smith ,  Jack E Davis (University of Florida)
Publisher:   The Experiment LLC
Imprint:   The Experiment LLC
Dimensions:   Width: 13.50cm , Height: 3.00cm , Length: 21.10cm
Weight:   0.440kg
ISBN:  

9781615195459


ISBN 10:   1615195459
Pages:   408
Publication Date:   09 April 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

Table of Contents

Reviews

Winner of the California Book Award, Silver Medal for Nonfiction Longlisted for the PEN / E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing An intensely reported, rousingly readable and ambitiously envisioned book . . . weaves together a dramatic court case in Los Angeles, a grizzly-bear attack, and a surprisingly fascinating debate over what constitutes the word 'natural' when it comes to national parks. . . a thrilling read. Like the best visions for parks, it combines the human and the animal, the managed and the natural, the controlled and the wild. --The Wall Street Journal Storytelling and historical narrative of the highest caliber . . . Jordan Fisher Smith digs deeply into the evolving tension at the heart of the national park idea: Should parks be left untouched or managed for people's enjoyment? Clear and compelling, this is a courtroom drama alive with unforgettable characters and a contemplation of our relationship with wild nature. --Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, authors of The National Parks: America's Best Idea Timely and thoughtful . . . A vivid account of conflicts within the National Park Service over managing bears and other wild animals--conflicts that contributed to tragic results . . . Smith's book will draw you in with his passion, thoughtfulness, and first-rate storytelling. --Seattle Times Engineering Eden is a fascinating book about the relationship between humankind and nature. Jordan Fisher Smith illuminates the often embittered arguments what our role in wilderness should be, and has written a vivid historical account that sheds light on our place in nature's complex web of life. --Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature [Engineering Eden] is a dramatic, eye-opening chronicle of the struggle to preserve wilderness while making it accessible to the public . . . A galvanizing storyteller fluent in the conflict between environmental science and politics, Smith brings every player into sharp and indelible focus as he illuminates the urgent issues national parks grapple with as they struggle to wisely manage predators, invasive species, wildfires, and people. --Booklist, starred review A searching study of a tragedy and the legal contest that followed it, one that shaped the course of national park policy in the modern age. Is a natural environment modified by humans still natural? It's not just a question for philosophers . . . Smith, who understands that nature is 'a web of complex relations, ' tells this complicated story clearly and well. Excellent reading for students of park policy, wildlife management, and other resource issues. --Kirkus Reviews Smith has pulled off an amazing feat: He's made wildlife management urgent and engrossing, writing about it with clarity, depth and a storyteller's pacing . . . an outstanding introduction to ecological decision-making --Shelf Awareness This meticulously investigated history of Yellowstone and its wildlife management problems should appeal to fans of Jack Olsen's classic Night of the Grizzlies, as well as to readers interested in the broader issue of how much humans should intervene in nature in order to preserve it. --Library Journal This is a big, ambitious book about a seemingly small, if horrific event--a grizzly devouring a young man. And Jordan Fisher Smith has succeeded in his ambition. He produced a wonderful book, 'wonderful' not only because of the quality of the writing, but because the book is filled with wondering; Smith uses that horror as a narrative focal point to explore science, policy making, bureaucracy, ego, even the law, and when he explores something he goes deep. --John M. Barry, author of Rising Tide and The Great Influenza What is 'nature'? In a narrative delivered with elegance and vigor, Jordan Fisher Smith shows that our answers to this question have life-and-death consequences, for humans and for the ecosystems in which we live. --David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen A probing look at efforts to manage the 'wild' in our fading wilderness--and at the trouble resulting when our guesses are wrong. Engineering Eden is especially timely as we consider our responsibilities to nature on this fast-warming planet. --Tom Kizzia, author of Pilgrim's Wilderness


Winner of the California Book Award, Silver Medal for Nonfiction Longlisted for the PEN / E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing An intensely reported, rousingly readable and ambitiously envisioned book . . . weaves together a dramatic court case in Los Angeles, a grizzly-bear attack, and a surprisingly fascinating debate over what constitutes the word 'natural' when it comes to national parks. . . a thrilling read. Like the best visions for parks, it combines the human and the animal, the managed and the natural, the controlled and the wild. --The Wall Street Journal Storytelling and historical narrative of the highest caliber . . . Jordan Fisher Smith digs deeply into the evolving tension at the heart of the national park idea: Should parks be left untouched or managed for people's enjoyment? Clear and compelling, this is a courtroom drama alive with unforgettable characters and a contemplation of our relationship with wild nature. --Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, authors of The National Parks: America's Best Idea Timely and thoughtful . . . A vivid account of conflicts within the National Park Service over managing bears and other wild animals--conflicts that contributed to tragic results . . . Smith's book will draw you in with his passion, thoughtfulness, and first-rate storytelling. --Seattle Times Engineering Eden is a fascinating book about the relationship between humankind and nature. Jordan Fisher Smith illuminates the often embittered arguments what our role in wilderness should be, and has written a vivid historical account that sheds light on our place in nature's complex web of life. --Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature [Engineering Eden] is a dramatic, eye-opening chronicle of the struggle to preserve wilderness while making it accessible to the public . . . A galvanizing storyteller fluent in the conflict between environmental science and politics, Smith brings every player into sharp and indelible focus as he illuminates the urgent issues national parks grapple with as they struggle to wisely manage predators, invasive species, wildfires, and people. --Booklist, starred review A searching study of a tragedy and the legal contest that followed it, one that shaped the course of national park policy in the modern age. Is a natural environment modified by humans still natural? It's not just a question for philosophers . . . Smith, who understands that nature is 'a web of complex relations, ' tells this complicated story clearly and well. Excellent reading for students of park policy, wildlife management, and other resource issues. --Kirkus Reviews Smith has pulled off an amazing feat: He's made wildlife management urgent and engrossing, writing about it with clarity, depth and a storyteller's pacing . . . an outstanding introduction to ecological decision-making --Shelf Awareness This meticulously investigated history of Yellowstone and its wildlife management problems should appeal to fans of Jack Olsen's classic Night of the Grizzlies, as well as to readers interested in the broader issue of how much humans should intervene in nature in order to preserve it. --Library Journal This is a big, ambitious book about a seemingly small, if horrific event--a grizzly devouring a young man. And Jordan Fisher Smith has succeeded in his ambition. He produced a wonderful book, 'wonderful' not only because of the quality of the writing, but because the book is filled with wondering; Smith uses that horror as a narrative focal point to explore science, policy making, bureaucracy, ego, even the law, and when he explores something he goes deep. --John M. Barry, author of Rising Tide and The Great Influenza What is 'nature'? In a narrative delivered with elegance and vigor, Jordan Fisher Smith shows that our answers to this question have life-and-death consequences, for humans and for the ecosystems in which we live. --David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen A probing look at efforts to manage the 'wild' in our fading wilderness--and at the trouble resulting when our guesses are wrong. Engineering Eden is especially timely as we consider our responsibilities to nature on this fast-warming planet. --Tom Kizzia, author of Pilgrim's Wilderness


An intensely reported, rousingly readable and ambitiously envisioned book . . . This is a book that, while it brims over with descriptions of beautiful places and provides a primer of environmental thought over the past century, weaves together a dramatic court case in Los Angeles, a grizzly-bear attack, and a surprisingly fascinating debate over what constitutes the word 'natural' when it comes to national parks, as well as enough characters, complete with back stories, to fill a Leon Uris novel . . . a thrilling read. Like the best visions for parks, it combines the human and the animal, the managed and the natural, the controlled and the wild. -- The Wall Street Journal Timely and thoughtful . . . . A vivid account of conflicts within the National Park Service over managing bears and other wild animals--conflicts that contributed to tragic results . . . . Smith's book will draw you in with his passion, thoughtfulness and first-rate story telling. --Seattle Times A dramatic, eye-opening chronicle of the struggle to preserve wilderness while making it accessible to the public . . . A galvanizing storyteller fluent in the conflict between environmental science and politics, Smith brings every player into sharp and indelible focus as he illuminates the urgent issues national parks grapple with as they struggle to wisely manage predators, invasive species, wildfires, and people. --Booklist, starred review A searching study of a tragedy and the legal contest that followed it, one that shaped the course of national park policy in the modern age. Is a natural environment modified by humans still natural? It's not just a question for philosophers . . . Smith, who understands that nature is 'a web of complex relations, ' tells this complicated story clearly and well. Excellent reading for students of park policy, wildlife management, and other resource issues. --Kirkus Reviews This meticulously investigated history of Yellowstone and its wildlife management problems should appeal to fans of Jack Olsen's classic Night of the Grizzlies, as well as to readers interested in the broader issue of how much humans should intervene in nature in order to preserve it. --Library Journal A fascinating book about the relationship between humankind and nature. Jordan Fisher Smith illuminates the often embittered arguments what our role in wilderness should be, and has written a vivid historical account that sheds light on our place in nature's complex web of life. --Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature This is a big, ambitious book about a seemingly small, if horrific event--a grizzly devouring a young man. And Jordan Fisher Smith has succeeded in his ambition. He produced a wonderful book, 'wonderful' not only because of the quality of the writing, but because the book is filled with wondering; Smith uses that horror as a narrative focal point to explore science, policy making, bureaucracy, ego, even the law, and when he explores something he goes deep. --John M. Barry, author of Rising Tide and The Great Influenza What is 'nature'? In a narrative delivered with elegance and vigor, Jordan Fisher Smith shows that our answers to this question have life-and-death consequences, for humans and for the ecosystems in which we live. --David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen Engineering Eden skates gracefully along the thin line between scholarly and popular writing. Jordan Fisher Smith's grasp of the science involved in national park and wilderness management is impressive. So is his ability to tell a compelling story in the tradition of John McPhee and Jon Krakauer. The result is a classic, the literary history of America's relationship to the natural world. --Roderick Nash, author of Wilderness and the American Mind In 1972 a Yellowstone grizzly killed a young man; from this tragedy a controversy erupted. Can wildlife be managed with no thought for unintended consequences? Does the Biblical injunction to dominate the earth and its creatures face evolutionary barriers embedded in the randomness of biological life itself? With open mind and deft narrative, Jordan Fisher Smith probes what is an intractable challenge to environmental stewardship. --Kevin Starr, author of California and Golden Dreams


Author Information

Jordan Fisher Smith worked for 21 years as a park ranger in California, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska. The author of Nature Noir and narrator of the documentary Under Our Skin, he has written for The New Yorker, Men's Journal, and many other outlets.

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