Jacob's Reviews > Wilderness and the American Mind

Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Nash
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's review
Jul 01, 10

liked it
Read from May 12 to June 29, 2010

This book is an outstanding resource for the student of American wilderness history up to the 70s. Keeping in mind this is an older edition, the newer one may be equally useful through the end of the 20th century. The bibliographical essay at the end alone is worth the purchase.

However, the book itself is not particularly inspiring. The writing is slow and plodding. Sometimes theories are arrived at that are not necessary to the discussion and rest on shaky ground. While comprehensive, its organization seems, at times, haphazard. The viewpoint is strictly European and European descendant based with very little commentary made on the Native American viewpoint and none on the African American viewpoint.

Those things being said, it is arguably one of the best reference books out there in regards to the ideas and perceptions of wilderness in the United States from colonial roots to the post-Vietnam era. It is a great starting point for any research on the topic and I would recommend it to any student of environmental history.

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