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Reviews Turtle Talk: Voicesfora SustainableFuture. Edited by Christopher Plant andJudith Plant. (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1990. 132 pages, $9.95.) I see the trend: we’ve gone from Nature writing to nature writing to conservation polemic to environmental journalism to telegrams of doom. Di­ versity of genre increases as biological diversity decreases, with recent books ranging from Bill McKibben’s77¡e£wd ofNatureto Gary Snyder’sThePracticeofthe Wild, a manifesto ofbioregionalism—the political/environmental/social move­ ment that proposes we each make a real home ofwhere we live. McKibben says that Snyder’s “deep hope—that someday we might all be native Americans—is the only hope we have.” Snyder revives this hope inTurtle Talk, a collection of 13 interviews with “activists, visionaries, organizers, and poets.” Conducted by editors ofThe New Catalyst, a bioregional journal for the Pacific Northwest, the interviews exem­ plify what the contributors value: varied intelligent responses to environmental and social issues, grounded in individual situations. Besides Snyder, the con­ tributors include bioregional activists Peter Berg, Caroline Estes, Freeman House, and Susan Meeker-Lowry, ecodefender Dave Foreman, ecofeminists Starhawk and Susan Griffin, Native American activists Marie Wilson and George Watts, and social historians George Woodcock and Murray Bookchin. Taken together, the interviews map a landscape ofalternative environmen­ tal and social movements. The key to this map is bioregionalism, described by Snyder in his interview as the “decentralization, the critique, of the state . . . the entry of place into the dialectic of history.” The map’s legend includes ecofeminism, deep ecology, diversity, sustainable agriculture, social ecology, reinhabitation. In thisjungle of buzzwords—notjust buzzwords in the mouths of these activists—lurk revolutionary, useful, and consoling proposals. For instance, there are discussions of consensus as a decision-finding tech­ nique in working for social change, of “municipal libertarianism,” and of the historical antecedents of bioregionalism: nonviolent anarchy, feminism, and Native American spirituality. Snyder appraises the bioregional movement now as “visionary social the­ atre”: the imaginings of a better world that precede the action to make it so. 360 WesternAmerican Literature This book is a primer, whose literary merit lies in the quality of its dialogue. For those ofus who still hope for answers, here are conversations that suggest some. ZITA INGHAM University ofArizona A Teton Country Anthology. Edited by Robert W. Righter. (Niwot, Colorado: Roberts Rinehart, Inc., 1990.196 pages, $12.50.) For over a century, the Jackson Hole area of Wyoming has been written about as a uniquely beautiful and alluring portion ofAmerica. Its attractiveness has also, as Robert Righter points out in his introduction, created a “dramatic human history,” involving Native Americans, trappers, explorers, mountain­ eers, stockmen, settlers, guides, sportsmen, scientists, dude ranchers, artists, writers, and—more recently—developers, winter-sports enthusiasts, oilmen, and the rich and famous seeking less-crowded, more-unspoiled country with unmatched scenery. Righter’s editorial approach samples significantwriting on the Teton area’s natural features and wildlife, its history—issues of develop­ ment, conservation, land use, and government protection versus private owner­ ship in particular—and varied visitors and residents whose accounts taken from diaries, books, and periodicals form the fourteen anthology selections. The writings focus on explorations beginning in the 1870s, treks for sporting adven­ ture between 1885 and 1898, extended visits and settlement, and controversial issues after the turn-of-the-century involving the elk herd, establishment of Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943, and the growing awareness of the irreplaceable aesthetic values of the area’s natural environment. Some selections are by well-known authors—Owen Wister, Theodore Roosevelt, George Bird Grinnell, and the long-time resident conservationists and writers, Olaus and Margaret Murie. There are also interesting and lively pieces by the Englishman William A. Baillie-Grohman, reacting to the region in 1880 with a sharp eye and considerable humor; Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson , wife of the writer-naturalist, describing an imaginative tenderfoot’s initial impressions of the country and its inhabitants in 1898; Fanny Kemble Wister, writing in 1911 as a young girl very much taken with Wyoming dude-ranch life; Frances Judge, portraying ranching as difficult but rewarding and colorfully characterizing her strong, life-loving grandmother; and by Fritiof Fryxell, a ranger-naturalist, whose verbal landscape painting emphasizes the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 359-360
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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