Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat


Available for Pre-order. Due August 2022.
Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: Island Press
string(3) "312"
Pages: 312 Language: English ISBN: 9781642832907 Categories: , , ,

America was built on white pine. From the 1600s through the Civil War and beyond, it was used to build the nation’s ships and houses, barns, and bridges. It became a symbol of independence, adorning the Americans’ flag at Bunker Hill, and an economic engine, generating three times more wealth than the California gold rush. Yet this popularity came at a cost: by the end of the 19th century, clear cutting had decimated much of America’s white pine forests. In White Pine: The Natural and Human History of a Foundational American Tree, ecologist and writer John Pastor takes readers on walk through history, connecting the white pine forests that remain today to a legacy of destruction and renewal. Since the clear-cutting era, naturalists, foresters, and scientists have taken up the quest to restore the great white pine forests. White Pine follows this centuries-long endeavor, illuminating how the efforts shaped Americans’ understanding of key scientific ideas, from forest succession to the importance of fire. With his keen naturalist’s eye, Pastor shows us why restoring the vitality of these forests has not been simple: a host of other creatures depend on white pine and white pine depends on them. In weaving together cultural and natural history, White Pine celebrates the way humans are connected to the forest-and to the larger natural world. Today, white pine forests have begun to recover, but face the growing threat of climate change. White Pine shows us that hope for healthy forests lies in understanding the lessons of history, so that iconic species survive as a touchstone for future generations.

Weight0.5638896 kg


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"Timely and enchanting disquisition on the many facets of peat...ultimately this is a book that stands apart for its playfulness and curiosity, for a sense of wonder that does not yield to despair or grief."-- "Literary Review of Canada" "Expect to encounter the unexpected in this science- and story-rich book. Most unexpected will be your new fascination with bogs, fens, moors, and marshes--those folklorically dark, pestilential environments. Edward Struzik and a procession of eccentric-yet-wise characters turn old, deprecating notions on their head and reveal fabled wastelands to be vital wonderlands."--Jack E. Davis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea and The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America's Bird' "Hiking and paddling into swamps, bogs, and fens large and small, Edward Struzik takes us into hidden and watery peatlands. We need to know peat. Struzik's the expert to lead us."--Deborah Cramer, author of 'The Narrow Edge' "His book has relevance to many disciplines - ecology, environmental science, cultural studies, anthropology, history, postcolonial studies - without ever getting bogged down in jargon or discussion of scholarship. Struzik's writing is consistently descriptive and conversational, so that the reader feels as though they're accompanying him and his interviewees through isolated landscapes, sharing his sense of wonder."-- "Economy, Land & Climate Insight" "Part science, part history, part travelogue...[a] rare treasure--nature writing that isn't pure elegy."-- "Sierra" "Struzik writes with immediacy and a sense of awe, bewitching readers with the unexpected beauty of peatlands."-- "Booklist" "This amazing book is as rich and multilayered as swamplands themselves. You won't be able to stop reading as you discover these remarkable, hidden places--critical habitat for myriad birds, mammals, insects, and plants, and essential for the health of our entire planet."--Jeffrey Wells, Vice President, Boreal Conservation, National Audubon Society "I would wholeheartedly recommend Swamplands to anyone interested in reading auto biographical accounts, learning about undervalued and little-understood landscapes, or examining human interactions with the natural world.... It is packed with expedition anecdotes, scientific facts and insights into human history, and there is no doubt that you will finish Swamplands both more knowledgeable and more appreciative of these boggy landscapes." -- "Oryx" "A powerful, impressive feat of popular science that is vitally needed in an era of climate change." -- "Library Journal" "Adventurous natural history... Swamplands belongs to the John McPhee school of science popularizing, incorporating profiles of on-site specialists into its crisp and enthusiastic explainers. The striking geological process behind the formation of peat gets its due, as do these regions' extraordinary biodiversity. None of this, of course, makes the world of fens and bogs any more hospitable to people. But by the end of this fascinating book, that seems like a point in their favor."-- "Wall Street Journal" "By exposing and exploring the varied influences on swamp management, perception, and evolution, Edward Struzik contributes a key resource that is highly recommended for any collection strong in ecological systems analysis." -- "Donovan's Literary Services" "Few books attempt to do what Ed Struzik's latest book, Swamplands, does so well: taking the reader knee-deep into an ecosystem that few ever think about, let alone possess the desire (or nerve) to travel to, or rally around.... Swamplands is a timely cry against the ongoing consequences of draining wetlands for farmland and commercial development, and of stripping peatlands for fuel and fertilizer." -- "Alberta Views" "Struzik has journeyed into the little-known world of swamplands and returned with a richly detailed, beautifully written, cautionary tale of a climate superhero in crisis. For anyone concerned about global warming, wildfires, water shortages and conservation, Swamplands is a poignant reminder that some solutions are right at our toe-tips. For peat's sake, read this book!" --Sarah Cox, author of 'Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley's Stand Against Big Hydro'

Author Biography

Edward Struzik has been writing about scientific and environmental issues for more than 30 years. A fellow at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, his numerous accolades include the prestigious Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy and the Sir Sandford Fleming Medal, awarded for outstanding contributions to the understanding of science. His books include Future Arctic, Arctic Icons, The Big Thaw, Northwest Passage, Firestorm, and Swamplands. He is an active speaker and lecturer, and his work as a regular contributor to Yale Environment 360 covers topics such as the effects of climate change and fossil fuel extraction on northern ecosystems and their inhabitants. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.