2019 Fall - New Publications of Note: What am I reading, listening to, or watching?
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Vol. 43, no. 1
The following list presents a selection of items on the reading/viewing/listening lists of fellow ESSies. Have something to add? Email Jen Bonnet.
David Lincove, Ohio State University
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World. By Andrea Wulf. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.
This is an excellent biography of Humboldt (1769-1859) who was very famous during his time but is not very well known today. The book offers some context to our current environmental issues. "A portrait of the German naturalist reveals his ongoing influence on humanity's relationship with the natural world today, discussing such topics as his views on climate change, conservation, and nature as a resource for all life."
Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide. By Tony Horwitz. New York : Penguin Press, 2019.
Horwitz retraces the path followed by Frederick Law Olmstead (designer of Central Park in NYC and other parks in the US) when he made 2 trips to Southern states to explore life and culture for the New York Times in the 1850s as events led to the Civil War. This was before Olmstead became a landscape architect. Horwitz offers details of Olmstead's life and travels, and his own more contemporary thoughts and experiences relating to people and the same places visited by Olmstead.
Joshua Hutchinson, University of California Irvine
On the Trail: A History of American Hiking by Silas Chamberlin Yale University Press, 2016
This traces the history of urban walking clubs and the beginning of the hobby for walking, which developed into wilderness hiking and backpacking in the 20th century. The first chapter (or two) talks about Frederick Law Olmstead and the early designs of parks in American cities, which gave people places to walk in (a type of) nature.