A Conservationist Manifesto
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A Conservationist Manifesto

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  8 reviews
As an antidote to the destructive culture of consumption dominating American life today, Scott Russell Sanders calls for a culture of conservation that allows us to savor and preserve the world, instead of devouring it. How might we shift to a more durable and responsible way of life? What changes in values and behavior will be required? Ranging geographically from souther...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Indiana University Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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2013 C
85th out of 100 books — 4 voters

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This semester I'm taking "Environmentalism and Sustainability Studies 101" (no, really) to fulfill a science credit. Before this class, I thought I liked the earth. I thought I was fairly environmentally friendly. Apparently, I had no frickin idea just how nuts you have to be to consider yourself Earth-friendly.

Take Mr. Sanders, for example. When he's not railing against the media being responsible for everything wrong with the planet (see, consumerism makes people only think about themselves -...more
Sanders's writing style is the stuff that legends are made of: smooth, clear, vivid, spare. The essays in this collection are uneven, though. From the naïveté of "The Warehouse and the Wilderness," a prolonged rant against postmodern literary theory, a subject about which Sanders admits he knows very little, to the brilliance of "Stillness," a tight essay structured by his first visit to a private cabin on a piece of property he owns. My favorite piece was "Simplicity and Sanity," which offered...more
This collection of essays inspires me to seek out the many other quality nature writers our country has been blessed with over the last one hundred and fifty years or so. Sanders makes it clear that these voices, whether still living (Wendell Berry, to name one) or long dead (Thoreau and Emerson), offer us observations crucial to repairing our current relationship with the earth. In addition to holding this responsible and humble view in common, these writers (and Sanders belongs in this group a...more
Sanders is one of those writers who ought to be much better known than he is. This book collects several of his previously published essays, all of them centered in some way around the satisfactions that come from living simply and lightly upon the land. I especially liked his reflections on the meaning of words such as "commonwealth" (hint: not about money) and his thought-provoking suggestion about using the Sabbath as an occasion to give the earth a rest from us. This is also a beautifully pa...more
Indiana University Press
This is one of the best books I've read lately. Sanders' call to move from a culture of consumption to one of conservation is more timely than ever now in the wake of our uncertain financial future, depleting oil supply, and global climate change. This book makes me think twice about my actions as they not only affect me, but also the planet and everyone else who lives on it. I am better for reading it, and hopefully this positive impact will be felt by the Earth as well. I can't recommend this...more
Jul 24, 2009 Jen added it
Scott Russell Sanders is an inspiration! I heard him do a reading recently and was able to have lunch with him--a joy! I am not too far into this book yet, but it raises great questions/thoughts! Also, his compelation of short stories "Wilderness Plots" is amazing and I highly recommend it too!
What a wonderful, caring, simple (in a good way) book. Feels a little like dadsplaining sometimes, but I still enjoyed it thoroughly!
Decent essays. Well written. Not much new under the sun, however. These essays retread familiar eco-themes.
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Scott Russell Sanders is an American novelist and essayist.
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