A stunning combination of landscape photography and thematic essays exploring how the concept of wilderness has evolved over time
Our ideas of wilderness have evolved dramatically over the past one hundred and fifty years, from a view of wild country as an inviolable “place apart” to one that exists only within the matrix of human activity. This shift in understanding has provoked complicated questions about the importance of the wild in American environmentalism, as well as new aesthetic expectations as we reframe the wilderness as (to some degree) a human creation.
Wild Visions is distinctive in its union of landscape photography and environmental thought, a merging of short, thematic essays with a striking visual narrative. Often, the wild is viewed in binary terms: either revered as sacred and ecologically pure or dismissed as spoiled by human activities. This book portrays wilderness instead as an evolving gamut of understandings, a collage of views and ideas that is still in process.
Ben A. Minteer is professor of environmental ethics and conservation at Arizona State University. Mark Klett is a photographer and professor of art at Arizona State University. Stephen J. Pyne is a historian and professor emeritus at Arizona State University. Roderick Frazier Nash is the author of Wilderness and the American Mind and The Rights of Nature: A History of Environmental Ethics.
“A thought-provoking and informative exploration of the idea of wilderness in the U.S. It is a pleasure to see so much smart photography, across multiple generations of production, gathered in one volume.”—Rebecca A. Senf, author of Making a Photographer: The Early Works of Ansel Adams
“Wild Visions provides a sweeping yet succinct visual depiction of ‘the wild,’ and lays out a critical context for understanding the evolution of cultural meanings in that imagery.”—Curt Meine, author of Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
“Wild Visions is not simply a compilation of landscape photographs, but an argument for the power of imagery to enhance our evolving understanding of wilderness and its preservation, something peculiar to the identity and values of Americans.”—Laura McPhee, author and photographer, River of No Return
“A welcome and thought-provoking reappraisal of the meaning of protecting ‘wilderness’ in American history and culture, pleasingly illustrated with nearly two centuries of photographs and writings.”—John Leshy, author of Our Common Ground
“In essays, dialogues, and photographs, this eloquent book circles through historically shifting definitions of the word ‘wilderness.’ The authors draw on their lives in the American West and decades of analysis to challenge our perceptions.”—Anne Wilkes Tucker, author of The Woman’s Eye
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