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Wild at Heart: America's Turbulent Relationship with Nature, from Exploitation to Redemption

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"Alice Outwater’s infectiously readable Wild at Heart captures the essence of ecology: Everything is connected, and every connection leads to ourselves." —Alan Weisman, author, The World Without Us and Countdown

"A wonderful book. Information rich to say the least, and the indigenous human connections and portrait of the deep connectivity of nature, are both strong
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ebook, 336 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Lou
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this in-depth piece on exploitation and our environmental triumphs but as others have alluded to it tends to give the impression that the fight is over. Yes, we have made a lot of progress but we still have an awful long way to go until we treat animals as our equals. There is a lot of solid information here, and it certainly isn't as dry as it could've been; being a law graduate I found the discussion of laws and regulations interesting and Outwater highlights the slow ...more
Carolyn McBride
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be dry, but it is written in a conversational style that kept me reading well past when I should have shut the light off. I learned a great deal too, which is always a nice bonus.
I'm very glad I was chosen to read an ARC, so thank you to NetGalley and the publisher.
I'll definitely be buying a copy for a particular friend I know would enjoy it.
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
I consider myself to be quite a sentimental reader, but it really depends on the subject at hand. This book is for a sentimental reader, but not quite my brand or type.

Alice Outwater's Wild at Heart should've been a deep, fulfilling read for me. And I enjoy types of books like these. I love stories that aim to bring us closer to the earth and its inhabitants. The way that humans over-utilize our environment is something that hits me to the chest in a very personal way, and I love stories that
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Jeff
Outwater has written a history of America’s relationship with nature, and how we have moved from seeing nature something to be conquered and tamed, to something with value to be preserved. She begins by discussing how several Native American tribes approached nature. The Hopi saw themselves as guardians of nature. The Abenaki sought balance with nature. And the Chinook gave thanks. I was beginning to think she was going back to an idea that we just had to go back to how the tribes lived, but ...more
Barbara R. Heinrich
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it an informative and delightful read. Usually I don’t read non-fiction, yet I was interested in a deeper understanding of how we have historically approached nature. I found Alice Outwater’s book to be wonderfully written and a very accessible recounting of our attitudes towards nature from early times until now. Her discussion of our evolving views and how they have impacted our environment for better and for worse were captivating. Despite how much our ...more
Emily Bibens
In a nutshell: a lot of historical details about the many eras of national mindsets/economies involving nature. Not as much of an ideological deep dive as I was hoping, but informative and interesting.
Cozy Cat Reviews
A interesting dissertation on our relationship to the environment and the damage we as humans have done. It is from the viewpoint of the past history of destruction to the planet and animals and how we can move forward. A good read for all concerned about the health of our planet . I recommend this reading for all environmentalists and those that wish to broaden their knowledge about how to save our planet and stop past destruction.
sbtbkb
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed how succintly this book covered so many years and issues. My main issue was that positive impacts of laws and regulations were positioned as "problem solved". Environmental protection is an ongoing issue and a daily fight and from reading this one may think we're done.
Elizabeth - Book Blogger
With the land ever changing due to our human demands, the earth has continued to battle us. Constantly fighting us; from our lawns to gardens and bigger outfits like factory farming and just about everything that produces some kind of emission. We even have this illusion by making our lives easier with plastic bags, and our use of natural resources but that’s just an illusion. We’re harming our environment one day at a time and collectively we add to it’s demise. Even if one person does their ...more
Cayla
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Wilderness has long been seen as a community of beings.

notes:

- On native-americans: The spirits that once inhabited their world are gone. (Hopi kachinas are supernatural beings—life forces of the cosmos—that embody the spirits of living things and affect various aspects of the natural world)
- The thankfulness of the Chinook, the reverence of the Hopi, and the restraint of the Abenaki reflect a relationship with nature that models the sustainable balance we are trying to create today.
-
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Joan Colby
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A far-reaching study of nature and man’s encroachment. Sadly, much of history shows irreversible damage: extinction of species such as the notable passenger pigeon and many others including the near erasure of the buffalo. Besides, animals, many plants and insects have suffered: the mono-culture of agriculture in the Midwest reflects how soil and water are affected. Improvements in farming practices and ease of transportation, from canals to railroads to trucking reduced the need for manual ...more
Samantha
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-books
Incredible informational and endlessly engaging. This book made me want to tell everyone around me what I learned about the fascinating and constantly changing history of our culture's relationship with the environment. The first 75% is pretty depressing since we were crap at the environment until pretty recently. However, it ends on a very encouraging note, emphasizing how far we've come and how much nature has recovered.
Jess Macallan
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
3. 5 stars

This book offers an informative look at our history with nature. The author uses thoughtful and sometimes painful examples of how we've shaped our environment and provides a framework for what we could continue to improve upon (needless to say, we've got serious work to do). At times, this book was difficult to get into, but I appreciated that it had an encouraging ending.

I received an e-copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Natalie Herr
Like the premise, but only got half way through before it needed returning. Tough to get into.
Foggygirl
Good read, examines the chaotic history of human exploitation of nature in North America and the shift to a more balanced relationship.
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Alice Outwater
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Alice Outwater grew up on Lake Champlain, in Vermont. She studied engineering at the University of Vermontand went to grad school at MIT to learn about water.
Outwater managed sludge for the Boston Harbor Clean-Up, and wrote The Reuse of Sludge and Minor Wastewater Residuals. She wrote the much translated Cartoon Guide to the Environmentwith Larry Gonick.Water: A Natural History was a Library
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