The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks

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America’s national parks are breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why more than 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the environmental classic Refuge and the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, an exploration of what they mean to us and what we mean to them.

From the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas and more, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and a manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.

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About the author

Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of fifteen books,including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Familyand Place, Finding Beauty in a Broken World, andWhen Women Were Birds. Her work has been widelyanthologized around the world. She lives in CastleValley, Utah, with her husband, Brooke Williams.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Sarah Crichton Books
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Published on
May 31, 2016
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780374712266
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Essays
Travel / Parks & Campgrounds
Travel / United States / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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New York Times Bestseller • Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award • Winner of the Saroyan International Prize for Writing • Winner of the Pacific Northwest Book Award • “The best outdoors book of the year.” —Sierra Club

From a talent who’s been compared to Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, David Quammen, and Jared Diamond, On Trails is a wondrous exploration of how trails help us understand the world—from invisible ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet.

While thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writing.

Throughout, Moor reveals how this single topic—the oft-overlooked trail—sheds new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanity’s relationship with nature and technology shaped world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life?

Moor has the essayist’s gift for making new connections, the adventurer’s love for paths untaken, and the philosopher’s knack for asking big questions. With a breathtaking arc that spans from the dawn of animal life to the digital era, On Trails is a book that makes us see our world, our history, our species, and our ways of life anew.
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