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The Necessity of Empty Places
by Paul Gruchow
In this paean to the wild lands of the American West, Paul Gruchow celebrates the intrinsic value of places that resist human exploitation. Whether he's rambling through the Minnesota Blue Mounds, spying on migrating cranes in the Nebraska sandhills, lumbering along the Oregon Trail in an old-fashioned wagon train, contemplating the "unearthly spires" of the Dakota ...more
Paperback, 283 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Milkweed Editions
(first published 1988)
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Even though this book was written over ten years ago, Gruchow's thoughts about nature and seemingly empty locations are true today. I do find it interesting when naturalists explore remote pristine areas write their concerns about the increasing number of people visiting these places. His work could not exist if he hadn't visited the area. The paradox is that written works about such places raise awareness about their fragility but also may increase the human traffic to them. Gruchow writes ...more
This author was my first professor at Concordia College, a wonderful Minnesota writer. He was so inspiring to all whose lives he touched. He truly allowed me to believe in myself and my ability to make a difference. A wonderful book, and one which inspired my concern and love for "empty places," which of course are not empty at all. What a tragic loss to lose such an amazing writer who brings nature, community, and culture to life. He has been compared to Thoreau, Berry, and others in this ...more