Parks in the image of America

To mark the centennial of the National Parks Service, the writer and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams has published The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks. On her publisher’s website, you can read the introduction, in which she says:

“By definition, our national parks in all their particularity and peculiarity show us as much about ourselves as the landscapes they honor and protect. They can be seen as holograms of an America born of shadow and light; dimensional; full of contradictions and complexities. Our dreams, our generosities, our cruelties and crimes are absorbed into these parks like water.”

The book was reviewed last month in The New York Times by Andrea Wulf (whose biography of Alexander von Humboldt I mentioned recently), who said it was one of the best nature books she had read in years.

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