10 books like Encounters with the Archdruid

By John McPhee,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Encounters with the Archdruid. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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To Save the Land and People

By Chad Montrie,

Book cover of To Save the Land and People: A History of Opposition to Surface Coal Mining in Appalachia

Chad Montrie has written a series of books exploring the unsung corners of environmentalism. Actually, that’s not fair. He’s explored the center of environmentalism – the activism of the poor, the working class, the average people who have fought to protect their families, their homes, their health. In To Save the Land and People, Montrie takes us into the hollows of Appalachia, where disempowered people did everything they could – even to the point of destroying bulldozers and threatening violence – to protect their communities. Montrie’s work reminds us of the struggles in Cleveland’s disempowered neighborhoods, where efforts to improve the environment often go unnoticed and lead to few successes. 

To Save the Land and People

By Chad Montrie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Save the Land and People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Surface coal mining has had a dramatic impact on the Appalachian economy and ecology since World War II, exacerbating the region's chronic unemployment and destroying much of its natural environment. Here, Chad Montrie examines the twentieth-century movement to outlaw surface mining in Appalachia, tracing popular opposition to the industry from its inception through the growth of a militant movement that engaged in acts of civil disobedience and industrial sabotage. Both comprehensive and comparative, To Save the Land and People chronicles the story of surface mining opposition in the whole region, from Pennsylvania to Alabama. Though many accounts of environmental activism…


Make It a Green Peace! The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism

By Frank Zelko,

Book cover of Make It a Green Peace! The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism

The history of politics can be dry stuff. But Frank Zelko is a natural storyteller – and a gifted historian. His subjects, Greenpeace and the men and women who formed it, provide access to the evolution of North American environmentalism from the 1960s through the 1980s. In vivid detail, Zelko narrates the drama at the heart of the Greenpeace strategy, the “mind bombs” that would activate citizens around the globe to stop whaling – at least mostly. Zelko makes us feel the urgency among these activists, their fear of nuclear testing, and their love of whales. Even among this relatively small group of activists, however, personality conflicts and philosophical differences reveal the difficulty of creating and maintaining a countercultural organization. For many of these folks, organization is not their thing. But action was. And throughout, Zelko’s fine-grained narrative reminds us that individual action is at the heart of all political…

Make It a Green Peace! The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism

By Frank Zelko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Make It a Green Peace! The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The emergence of Greenpeace in the late 1960s from a loose-knit group of anti-nuclear and anti-whaling activists fundamentally changed the nature of environmentalism-its purpose, philosophy, and tactics-around the world. And yet there has been no comprehensive objective history of Greenpeace's origins-until now.

Make It a Green Peace! draws upon meeting minutes, internal correspondence, manifestos, philosophical writings, and interviews with former members to offer the first full account of the origins of what has become the most recognizable environmental non-governmental organization in the world. Situating Greenpeace within the peace movement and counterculture of the 1960s, Frank Zelko provides a much deeper…


The Meadowlands

By Robert Sullivan,

Book cover of The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City

The subtitle to Robert Sullivan’s The Meadowlands is Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City, and it’s Sullivan’s adventures exploring the vast New Jersey wetlands that make the book so entertaining. But Sullivan is right to use the word “wilderness” to describe the 32 square miles of swamp, landfills, and rusting industrial debris along the Hackensack River where it flows into Newark Bay just five miles from the Empire State Building in New York City. Like the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the Meadowlands have been abused and degraded for centuries but also show the resilience of nature and how people’s attitudes toward it have changed. “Now it is a good place to see a black-crowned night heron or a pied-bill grebe or eighteen species of ladybugs,” Sullivan writes, “even if some of the waters these creatures fly over can oftentimes be the color of antifreeze.” Sullivan’s loving description…

The Meadowlands

By Robert Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Meadowlands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imagine a grungy north Jersey version of John McPhee's classic The Pine Barrens and you'll get some idea of the idiosyncratic, fact-filled, and highly original work that is Robert Sullivan's The Meadowlands.  Just five miles west of New York City, this vilified, half-developed, half-untamed, much dumped-on, and sometimes odiferous tract of swampland is home to rare birds and missing bodies, tranquil marshes and a major sports arena, burning garbage dumps and corporate headquarters, the remains of the original Penn Station--and maybe, just ,maybe, of the late Jimmy Hoffa.  Robert Sullivan proves himself to be this fragile yet amazingly resilient region's…


The Republican Reversal

By James Morton Turner, Andrew C. Isenberg,

Book cover of The Republican Reversal: Conservatives and the Environment from Nixon to Trump

Of all the changes in environmental politics since the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969, perhaps the most perplexing – and disappointing – is the Republican turn away from environmental protection. From the Reagan Administration through the Trump regime, the Republican Party has staked the claim not just to passivity toward environmental regulation but has engaged in an all-out assault on government protection of the human and nonhuman environment. Turner and Isenberg make sense of this policy turn, emphasizing the roles of libertarian ideologues, multinational corporations with a stake in the status quo, and rural Americans who tired of federal intrusions in their lives and livelihoods. As aspects of the urban crisis have eased, and specific places like the Cuyahoga River have improved, environmental activists would do well to figure out how to make environmental protection bipartisan once again.

The Republican Reversal

By James Morton Turner, Andrew C. Isenberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Republican Reversal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not long ago, Republicans could take pride in their party's tradition of environmental leadership. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the GOP helped to create the Environmental Protection Agency, extend the Clean Air Act, and protect endangered species. Today, as Republicans denounce climate change as a "hoax" and seek to dismantle the environmental regulatory state they worked to build, we are left to wonder: What happened?

In The Republican Reversal, James Morton Turner and Andrew C. Isenberg show that the party's transformation began in the late 1970s, with the emergence of a new alliance of pro-business, libertarian, and anti-federalist…


Walden

By Henry David Thoreau,

Book cover of Walden

We backyard veggie growers owe a deep debt of gratitude to the Native Americans who passed on to us their protein-rich maize, squash, potatoes, and beans. One beneficiary was that great contemplative gardener Henry David Thoreau who tended a bean field on the shores of Walden Pond at Concord, Massachusetts. "What shall I learn of beans or beans of me? I cherish them, I hoe them, early and late I have an eye to them and this is my days work," he wrote. He still does not disappoint – even after 160 years. 

Walden

By Henry David Thoreau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The ultimate gift edition of Walden for bibliophiles, aficionados, and scholars
"Replaces all other available editions of Walden as the most attractive and reliable way to approach this great American book."-Joel Porte, author of Consciousness and Culture: Emerson and Thoreau Reviewed

This is the authoritative edition of an American literaru classic: Henry David Thoreau's Walden, an elegantly written record of his experiment in simple living. With this edition, Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer has meticulously corrected errors and omissions from previous editions of Walden andhere provides illuminating notes on the biographical, historical, and geographical contexts of the great nineteenth-century writer…


The Woods Vol. 1

By James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas (illustrator),

Book cover of The Woods Vol. 1

A normal high school in Wisconsin disappears, along with everyone in it. Stranded on an alien planet, the accidental voyagers must figure out who (or what) they’re up against, how best to survive, and whether there’s any way to return. Meanwhile on Earth, their stunned families struggle to cope with what they’ve lost.

The Woods, my favorite comic series of all time, is split into nine volumes, and the first hits the ground running. With Lord of the Flies-level social politics and a high body count, this sci-fi saga is not for the faint of heart.

The Woods Vol. 1

By James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Woods Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine. As fans of James Tynion IV's work in the Batman universe (Batman Eternal, Red Hood and the Outlaws), we were eager to publish his first original comic series. Plus, The Woods gives us…


The Sun Is a Compass

By Caroline Van Hemert,

Book cover of The Sun Is a Compass: My 4,000-Mile Journey Into the Alaskan Wilds

This book combines the author's love of nature with adventure. Ornithologist Caroline van Hemert takes a 4,000-mile journey into the Alaskan Wilds and it is both a story of deep immersion into the wild and a story of challenging yourself. Biology is focused on the wonder and complexity of life and what I love about this book is that it celebrates the beauty of the natural world. The author does this through immersion into nature and by deciphering it. Through her intense personal nature contact, she yields unexpected surprises that enhance the beauty of the world. 

Biology can be mentally and physically challenging as a profession, and there is no guarantee of success. More often than not the path does not follow a clear route. It thins out and leads to no discovery. However, along the way, there is the beauty of the physical wilderness, the natural world, and nature…

The Sun Is a Compass

By Caroline Van Hemert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sun Is a Compass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During graduate school, as she conducted experiments on the peculiarly misshapen beaks of chickadees, ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environment of the lab. Worried that she was losing her passion for the scientific research she once loved, she was compelled to experience wildness again, to be guided by the sounds of birds and to follow the trails of animals.

In March of 2012 she and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic. Travelling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft and canoe, they explored northern…


The Promise of Wilderness

By James Morton Turner,

Book cover of The Promise of Wilderness: American Environmental Politics since 1964

At times, what we most need is a deeply researched, carefully argued, and exhaustively covered history of a topic. Turner provides that essential guidebook to wilderness politics after the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Cutting through slogans and ideology, Turner shows pragmatic strategies, evolving practices, and the political nature of wilderness. I turn to The Promise of Wilderness whenever I want to know what happened and why it mattered. And also, because Turner sees wilderness activism as a key component to modern democracy, a lesson in engaged citizenship—and that inspires me. 

The Promise of Wilderness

By James Morton Turner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Promise of Wilderness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Denali's majestic slopes to the Great Swamp of central New Jersey, protected wilderness areas make up nearly twenty percent of the parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands that cover a full fourth of the nation's territory. But wilderness is not only a place. It is also one of the most powerful and troublesome ideas in American environmental thought, representing everything from sublime beauty and patriotic inspiration to a countercultural ideal and an overextension of government authority.

The Promise of Wilderness examines how the idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since the passage of…


Force of Nature

By Jane Harper,

Book cover of Force of Nature

Five women go away on a corporate retreat in remote bushland and one of them goes up missing. All of Jane Harper’s books are brilliantly written but in this one, I enjoyed the duplicities and simmering tensions between the characters as well as trying to work out who the real villain was in this slow-burn mystery.

Force of Nature

By Jane Harper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Force of Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'THE NEW QUEEN OF CRIME' Sunday Times

The gripping new novel from the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Waterstones Thriller of the Month and Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year, The Dry.

FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK...

Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four…


Walden and Civil Disobedience

By Henry David Thoreau,

Book cover of Walden and Civil Disobedience

Another profound critique of “civilized” values. Thoreau is like Plato in that he always drills down to bedrock truth: What is it that makes for a good life? Individually and collectively? Be prepared for longueurs. Those who want a pithier critique along more contemporary lines might enjoy the works of the late Ivan Illich, especially Tools for Conviviality.

Walden and Civil Disobedience

By Henry David Thoreau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walden and Civil Disobedience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry David Thoreau reflects on life, politics, and society in these two inspiring masterworks: Walden and Civil Disobedience.

In 1845, Thoreau moved to a cabin that he built with his own hands along the shores of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Shedding the trivial ties that he felt bound much of humanity, Thoreau reaped from the land both physically and mentally, and pursued truth in the quiet of nature. In Walden, he explains how separating oneself from the world of men can truly awaken the sleeping self. Thoreau holds fast to the notion that you have not truly existed until you…


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