Earth Rising

Editorial Reviews of Earth Rising

This book, a forerunner to David Oates’ current work, Paradise Wild: Reimagining American Nature, was praised by the eminent ecologist and social theorist, the late Paul Shepard, as an “audacious effort” to synthesize and find the meaning of the modern Environmental movement. Shepard noted the way this ground-breaking work went past typical academic scholarship, “integrat[ing] the personal and the merely expository.”

Shepard singled out two concerns that would be central to Paradise Wild, in its sympathetic but relentless questioning of Environmentalist sacred cows: “His discussion of Deep Ecology and John Muir is one of the best I have seen.” Shepard was the author of many books, including Nature and Madness, The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game, Man in the Landscape, etc.

Here’s how Ernest Callenbach (author of Ecotopia, Ecotopia Emerging, etc.) described the book: “David Oates provides a sensible survey of the new worldview he calls ‘ecologism’ (to distinguish it from the technical science … with which it is not always in tune). For people interested in technology and its future, his analysis is important because he concludes that ‘the instinctive individualism of the Western mind is undergoing a deep change,’ and this will have profound effects on our social organization – as well as on our technologies, which are presently wreaking havoc on ecosystems everywhere on the planet.

“Oates….is quite sophisticated scientifically (he is an amateur naturalist as well as poet), and he is well read in the relevant literature…. Oates’s book will serve as a reliable introduction to these ideas, and it is written to be accessible…”

The former editor of Environmental Review and author of Ecological Consciousness, J. Donald Hughes, simply called it “A soaring edifice” “…a very important voice in the conversation among those concerned with the environmental worldview.”

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Other comments:

“…a subtle and complex book. . . Oates puts forward an argument that must be taken seriously. He does it with wit and elegance, and considerable scholarship.” “This book offers a synthesis for real people that is both challenging and beautifully written” — Environmental Values (Bill Adams, University of Cambridge, 1992).

“…draw[s] connections between modern scientific findings and their significance in a changing world” — Bookwatch (June 1989).

“…bold and cogent articulation” — Green Earth Observer (1989).

“…a thought-provoking study, worthy of serious consideration” — Booklist (March 15, 1989).

“…a fascinating and compelling treatise … Read and ponder this” — Earth First! (August 1989).

“…unusual sensitivity and wisdom…. sharply written prose, wide-ranging literary allusions, and a depth of wisdom seldom found” — The Other Side (January 1990).

“… earns respect… current but not exploitative, controversial but not sensational, readable but scrupulously researched” — Writer’s NW (Fall 1990).

“…brilliantly describes how theoretical ecology informs a world view….his understanding of the scientific, spiritual, literary, and aesthetic aspects…allows the reader…to appreciate and enjoy these interesting questions….a deliberate and friendly style…makes difficult concepts accessible” — American Nature Writing Newsletter (1989).


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