Ecology of Eden An Inquiry into the Dream of Paradise and a New Vision of Our Role in Nature

ISBN-10: 0375705600

ISBN-13: 9780375705601

Edition: N/A

Authors: Evan Eisenberg

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"Dazzling . . . a prose epic." --The Washington Post A mountain peak, a rolling pasture, a boulevard alive with sound and light--each of us carries, deep inside, a dream of paradise.  In this magisterial contribution to the literature of ecology and the environment, our nostalgia for the myth of paradise--the primeval, self-sufficient, nurturing garden where mankind was born--is the starting point of a brilliant inquiry into what our place in Nature has been and ought to be.     Writing in lively, imaginative prose and drawing deftly upon disciplines as varied as biology, geology, anthropology, history, physics, and music, Evan Eisenberg examines the ways in which people have envisioned and tried to re-create the earthly paradise even as they have dealt with the often disastrous effects of their increasing manipulation of the environment. An encyclopedic survey of efforts to heal the dangerous rift between culture and nature, The Ecology of Eden is a landmark work that is enormously suggestive, informative, and a joy to read.      "It's a question many writers have tackled, from Paul Ehrlich to E. O. Wilson: How can we survive while population grows, resources dwindle . . . and the threat of global climate change looms ominously? Few have explored it with more originality or historic sweep. . . . A rich harvest, filled with many kernels of wisdom about the future of our elusive Eden." --San Francisco Chronicle      "An ambitious, thickly braided narrative that makes the clearest bid to nudge the dialectic along. . . . Eisenberg traces the story engagingly, energetically, with a remarkable breadth of learning and a metaphor-maker's eye. . . . A vision of substance and genuine insight." -Los Angeles Times Book Review
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Book details

List price: $25.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/5/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 640
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Prologue: Persons from Porlock
The Marriage of Grass and Man: A look at the logic of husbandry, from wheat's point of view
Axis Powers: Long before humankind, alliances of species were conquering the world
Dirt Cheap: The rise and fall of the soil community, and the cost of modern farming
The New Pangaea: Biological invasion: How ships and airplanes erode the diversity of life
The Human Mushroom: The odd ecology of fossil fuel, and why getting energy is a risky business
Life on the Edge: The tricky, and partly illusory, transition from nature to culture
The Mountain and the Tower
The Mountain of the Gods: Canaan: The heart of the world is wilderness
The Tower of Babel: Mesopotamia: The heart of the world is the city
The Fiery Sword: Israel: In making our paradise we unmake Eden, and so expel ourselves
The Rivers of Eden: How streams and pools of wildness keep civilization alive
Storming the Mountain: Gilgamesh and Enki: The triumph over nature and its bitter, or salty, aftertaste
The Highways of Rome: From a Hebrew god tied to place, to the perils of Western universalism
Arcadia: In search of the perfect midpoint between city and wilderness
Lost Illusions: Summer places and their discontents; and some lessons from the real Arcadia
The Walled Garden: Persia: What the garden walls out, and how its pattern soothes the divided soul
Patting Nature on the Head: Greek gardens, or the lack thereof, and the Roman empire of greenery
The Cloister and the Plow: The Middle Ages: Contemplating heaven while mastering the earth
Bringing a Statue to Life: The Renaissance garden as refuge from plague, proletarians, and paradox
Leaping the Fence: Sun King and Ice Age; coal, capital, colonies, and the English landscape garden
Westward in Eden: The real American experiment: A direct relation to nature, culture be damned
A Goddess Quantified: Gaia, chaos, complexity: The nervous alliance of science and myth
Earth Jazz
Managers and Fetishers: Two schools that dominate the current debate, and why both are wrong
Bebop: In search of a musical model for our collaboration with nature
The Wild Garden: From rain forest to desert, indigenous peoples have learned to learn from nature
The Tree of Life: It's not the fiascos of biotechnology that we should fear, but its successes
The Tree of Knowledge: Finding the garden in the machine-- without being lulled by "soft technology"
The Urban Animal: A second look at the city, which ought to be nature's best friend
Reclaiming Arcadia: Another second look: Suburbs, summer homes, and how they might be redeemed
Two Networks: Hedgerows, greenbelts, wildlife corridors: The geometry of wildness
Hot and Cool: The challenge of global warming, and why nature is never spent
The Foothills of Eden: A look back over the ground we have covered; and a view from heaven
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