The Great New Wilderness Debate

Edited by J. Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson

An expansive collection of writings defining wilderness, from John Muir to Gary Snyder


"A rich collection of wilderness voices that previews the shape of environmentalist discourse in the ongoing debate about how we will treat the nonhuman world in the twenty-first century."
—Rob Ensign, ISLE

"A good book about a very old question: What is the relation between human culture and wild nature? . . . Many of the arguments . . . will provide readers with much to consider about their own assumptions about wilderness and wildness. Read these essays, go for long walks, and think deeply about what the presence of wild nature in these times might mean."
Bloomsbury Review

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The Great New Wilderness Debate is an expansive, wide-ranging collection that addresses the pivotal environmental issues of the modern era. This eclectic volume on the varied constructions of “wilderness” reveals the recent controversies that surround those conceptions, and the gulf between those who argue for wilderness "preservation" and those who argue for "wise use."

J. Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson have selected thirty-nine essays that provide historical context, range broadly across the issues, and set forth the positions of the debate. Beginning with such well-known authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, the collection moves forward to the contemporary debate and presents seminal works by a number of the most distinguished scholars in environmental history and environmental philosophy. The Great New Wilderness Debate also includes essays by conservation biologists, cultural geographers, environmental activists, and contemporary writers on the environment.

Page count: 712 pp.
Trim size: 6.125 x 9.25


List price: $40.95

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Michael P. Nelson is an associate professor of environmental ethics and philosophy at Michigan State University, where he is affiliated with the Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy. J. Baird Callicott is a professor of philosophy at the University of North Texas. Nelson and Callicott are coeditors of The Great New Wilderness Debate (Georgia) and The Wilderness Debate Rages On (Georgia), and coauthors of American Indian Environmental Ethics: An Ojibwa Case Study.