Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Side of the Mountain

My Side of the Mountain My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I appear to be working my way backwards through the cannon on man's relationship to the natural world, having read in recent years Second Nature: A Gardener's Education. Perhaps next I will read A Sand County Almanac and then Thoreau's Walden.

The major thing that I got from My Side of the Mountain is that whenever we try to escape civilization by leaving it behind and losing ourselves in nature, we--in truth--bring civilization with us. We cannot live without both the society of other beings and at least rudimentary tools. We are social and technological beings. I don't think this was the main theme that the author was pushing with this book, but she was at least cognizant of it.

If we cannot shake off all the trappings of human society and revert to primal coexistence with nature, how then are we left to commune with the natural world? I think that instead of going to live in nature (bringing with us our roads, our Walmarts and our landfills) we must bring nature back to live with us. This is an idea that jives well with Michael Pollan's view of man as the gardeners of the earth (not a new idea, but one that seems to be largely forgot by parties on all sides of the Green Debate these days).

View all my reviews.

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