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82 Western American Literature The Dream of The Earth covers a lot of familiar philosophical territory. But this book contains much wisdom as to how we let our dreams and myths drive us to the brink and how new ones can lead us from it. And even though Berry’s book will not be read by those who most need to—the editor of The Wall Street Journal, the president of Dow Chemical, the heads of the advertis­ ing industry—it should have special interest for college teachers and adminis­ trators looking for new approaches to general education. In his chapter, “The American College in The Ecological Age,” he outlines a radical but rational alternative to traditional courses of study. His six-course, integrated program would ground itself “in the dynamics of the earth as a self-emerging, selfsustaining , self-educating, self-governing, self-healing, and self-fulfilling com­ munity.” If implemented nationwide, this course of study would not only alter American education, it would help reshape the way we dream of ourselves on the earth. And that is the most urgent issue of our times. I recommend this book. JIM ATON Southern Utah State College Time’s Island: The California Desert. By T. H. Watkins. (Layton: Gibbs Smith, 1989. 88 pages, $16.95.) “I am perhaps four hard hours of driving from the shrieking cauldron of downtown Los Angeles, and the quiet that envelops me here is complete and satisfying. This is what I came here for—to spend some time alone in the desert to get a feeling for what it has to offer in the way of sanctuary and beauty, to provide the weight of observed reality to the words I will be using to describe this country and what has happened to it and what should happen to it and what is likely to happen to it if we do not seize the opportunity to save it.” This is an essay in support of establishing wilderness areas in the Cali­ fornia desert. Descriptions of the human and natural history of the region are set off by personal accounts of the author’s own experience in the desert, and the book is illustrated with many attractive photographs. There is one grating note in the essay: the hostile attitude that the author takes towards people in the wilderness. The only photographs of hikers show them in large groups or close to the road, and are in the chapter titled “The Problem.” The Mojave Indians are romanticized, but modern people ornament the mountains “with little clots of adventurers who attempt to emulate bighorn sheep (which for their part tend to leave the neighborhood, possibly in disgust).” Watkins is trying to emphasize the point that a wilderness designation should not be overly influenced by special interests or tied to recreational use. However, it seems as though he wants to deny others the solace that he finds in the desert. His essay seems incomplete since he so often mentions the fact of people in the wilderness without addressing the problem of their role. AMY BRUNVAND Fort Lewis College ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 82
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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