nonfiction

Axe-in-Hand

In this essay from the “November” section of A Sand County Almanac, a reflective Leopold is at his most philosophical. One is reminded of Thoreau hoeing his beans in Walden as Leopold describes the decision process that lies behind which… Read More ›

Good Oak

Leopold employs allegory to tell the history of Wisconsin since man began to change its complexion. He also tells the historians how to tell a story. Read “Good Oak” in A Sand County Almanac

Round River Critique

In compiling this set of his father’s essays, Luna Leopold, a geologist, chose to title the collection after one of the included pieces, “Round River.” In it, his father had used the legend of Paul Bunyan floating logs down the… Read More ›

The Delta Colorado

In the autumn of 1922, the Leopold brothers, Carl and Aldo, set out upon an expedition to hunt and explore the Colorado River delta south of the Mexican border. Both men made journal entries (Carl’s are identified by “C.S.L.”) with… Read More ›

Silent Spring Critique

Silent Spring is a very tight argument against the indiscriminate and unregulated use of pesticides, especially insecticides, particularly DDT. Carson’s argument, in fact, is so tight, so well constructed, that the book is extremely difficult to excerpt without losing a… Read More ›

The Other Road

  Carson is nearly swept away in her veneration of poisons coming out of the biologist’s laboratory rather than the chemist’s — especially the andricides — but she recovers to emphasize natural, non-violent methods of insect control, finally leaving us… Read More ›

Nature Fights Back

We learn of our failure to eradicate insect pests through the use of broad-spectrum chemicals; how, in fact, these same chemicals have often worsened the problem or created new ones. We are then introduced to non-violent biological controls, now known… Read More ›