A Sand County Almanac

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I recently re-read this wonderful little book, having first read it in the 1970’s. Published in 1949, A Sand County Almanac is not only a classic in outdoor and conservation writing, it is an incredibly enjoyable book to read. Aldo Leopold was truly a visionary, living and writing about nature and conservation issues long before it was common to do so. His message is timeless, written by a man who understood the outdoors and our conflicting societal needs and responsibilities for the natural world.

Unfortunately, Leopold died of a heart attack in 1948, while helping neighbors fight a wildfire, before his defining book was published. If he had lived, he would have had to make it to the 1970’s to see the book gain a wide audience. Although he represented a culture of outdoor enthusiasts that had many members, he was the only one to write about the many contradictions in the early conservation movement. It seems his book became better known after awareness of conservation issues became more widespread in the 70’s and people realized Leopold had written elegantly about it decades before.

He was likely the first writer who really fit the classic definition of ecologist. Thoreau told us that we would find the “salvation of the world” in wilderness. Leopold’s book details that salvation.

There are many detailed reviews of the book available, like this one, from The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Suffice to say if you have never read A Sand County Almanac, or read it too many years ago, now would be a great time to spend a few hours with this classic.

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Will Sig
1 Anna

Thanks for such insightful post. I will definitely check it out. Sound like an excellent book to read before bedtime. Anna 🙂

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2 Will

It is a good book to read before bedtime. Be careful though, the first 1/2 of the book is hard to put down and may keep you up late! It is divided nicely into months which does give logical breaking points if you take advantage of them.

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