Seeing Things Whole: The Essential John Wesley Powell

Island Press
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John Wesley Powell was an American original. He was the last of the nation's great continental explorers and the first of a new breed of public servant: part scientist, part social reformer, part institution builder. His work and life reveal an enduringly valuable way of thinking about land, water, and society as parts of an interconnected whole; he was America's first great bioregional thinker.
Seeing Things Whole presents John Wesley Powell in the full diversity of his achievements and interests, bringing together in a single volume writings ranging from his gripping account of exploring the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to his views on the evolution of civilization, along with the seminal writings in which he sets forth his ideas on western settlement and the allocation and management of western resources.
The centerpiece of Seeing Things Whole is a series of selections from the famous 1878 Report on the Lands of the Arid Region and related magazine articles in which Powell further develops the themes of the report. John Wesley Powell's bioregional vision remains a model for governance that many westerners see as a viable solution to the resource management conflicts that continue to plague the region.
Throughout the collection, award-winning writer and historian William deBuys brilliantly sets the historical context for Powell's work. Section introductions and extensive descriptive notes take the reader through the evolution of John Wesley Powell's interests and ideas from his critique of Social Darwinism and landmark categorization of Indian languages to the climactic yet ultimately futile battles he fought to win adoption of his land-use proposals.
Seeing Things Whole presents the essence of the extraordinary legacy that John Wesley Powell has left to the American people, and to people everywhere who strive to reconcile the demands of society with the imperatives of the land.
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About the author


William deBuys is a historian, conservationist, and writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His books include Enchantment and Exploitation (University of New Mexico Press, 1989), River of Traps (University of New Mexico Press, 1996), and Salt Dreams (University of New Mexico Press, 1999).
John Wesley Powell (1834 – 1902) was a US soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Island Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 2004
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Pages
402
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ISBN
9781610913249
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / Mammals
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Nature / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Since we left the Colorado Chiquito we have seen no evidences that the tribe of Indians inhabiting the plateaus on either side ever come down to the river; but about eleven o'clock to-day we discover an Indian garden at the foot of the wall on the right, just where a little stream with a narrow flood plain comes down through a side canyon. Along the valley the Indians have planted corn, using for irrigation the water which bursts out in springs at the foot of the cliff. The corn is looking quite well, but it is not sufficiently advanced to give us roasting ears; but there are some nice green squashes. We carry ten or a dozen of these on board our boats and hurriedly leave, not willing to be caught in the robbery, yet excusing ourselves by pleading our great want. -from "August 26" Sometimes published under the name The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons, but more properly known by its original title, Canyons of the Colorado is the gripping personal account of the first navigation of the Colorado River, in 1869, by the man who led the journey. American geologist and explorer JOHN WESLEY POWELL (1834-1902), head of the Powell Geographic Expedition and later director of the U.S. Geological Survey, here regales us with the thrilling tale of the ten-man team and its assignment to map the last unmapped regions of the western territories of the United States. The highlight of their three-month trip: the first known river journey through the wildness of the Grand Canyon. This replica of the 1895 edition includes all the original halftone illustrations. A classic of real-life adventure literature, it continues to captivate armchair explorers today.
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