Always the Mountains

David Rothenberg

A writer embraces the tough and often ignored questions about our place on earth


"Rothenberg's mountain excursions are absolutely the best since Thoreau's Katahdin and Muir's The Mountains of California. His prose is effortless, yet anchored in granitic truth. Truly an inspiring alternative to the 'peak bagging,' heroic mountain climber tales that dominate the market. Every climber should read this book."
—Max Oelschlaeger, author of The Idea of Wilderness

"Whatever David Rothenberg touches becomes a surprise exploration, an unexpected point of engagement where he invites us to a deeper way of thinking about our place on the planet. He is a musician, a philosopher, a writer, and above all, an alchemist."
—Terry Tempest Williams

More / Hide

David Rothenberg is one of our most eloquent observers of the interplay between nature, culture, and technology. These nineteen pieces exemplify what has been called Rothenberg's "amiable" mix of interests, styles, and approaches.

In settings that range from wildest Norway to his own front porch in upstate New York, Rothenberg discusses the Hudson River School of painters, the hazy provenance of Chief Seattle's famous speech, ecoterrorism, suburbia, the World Wide Web, and much more. He asks if we can save a place less obtrusively than by turning it into a park. He muses on the plight of a pacifist beset by a swarm of mosquitoes. He ascends Mt. Ventoux with Petrarch and Mt. Katahdin with Thoreau.

In Always the Mountains, Rothenberg dares us to "enjoy the fundamental uncertainty that grounds human existence," to wean ourselves from the habit of simple answers and embrace the world's vastness.

Page count: 296 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $24.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

Philosopher and musician David Rothenberg is the author of Why Birds Sing, also published in Italy, Spain, Taiwan, China, Korea, and Germany. It was turned into a feature length BBC TV documentary. His other books include Sudden Music(Georgia), Hand's End, and Blue Cliff Record. His essays have appeared in such publications as Parabola, Orion, The Nation, Wired, Dwell, Kyoto Journal, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and Sierra. Rothenberg is also a composer and jazz clarinetist, and he has seven CDs out under his own name, including On the Cliffs of the Heart, named one of the top ten CDs of 1995 by Jazziz Magazine. His latest book is Thousand Mile Song, about making music with whales. His first CD on ECM Records, with pianist Marilyn Crispell, will be released in 2010. Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.