Reading the Roots: American Nature Writing before Walden by Michael BranchReading the Roots: American Nature Writing before Walden by Michael Branch

Reading the Roots: American Nature Writing before Walden

byMichael Branch

Paperback | January 19, 2004

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Reading the Roots is an unprecedented anthology of outstanding early writings about American nature-a rich, influential, yet critically underappreciated body of work. Rather than begin with Henry David Thoreau, who is often identified as the progenitor of American nature writing, editor Michael P. Branch instead surveys the long tradition that prefigures and anticipates Thoreau and his literary descendants.

The selections in Reading the Roots describe a diversity of landscapes, wildlife, and natural phenomena, and their authors represent many different nationalities, cultural affiliations, religious views, and ideological perspectives. The writings gathered here also range widely in terms of subject, rhetorical form, and disciplinary approach-from promotional tracts and European narratives of contact with Native Americans to examples of scientific theology and romantic nature writing.

The volume also includes a critical introduction discussing the cultural, scientific, and literary value of early American nature writing; headnotes that contextualize all authors and selections; and a substantial bibliography of primary and secondary sources in the field. Reading the Roots at last makes early American landscapes-and a range of literary responses to them-accessible to scholars, students, and general readers.

Michael P. Branch, professor of literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, is cofounder and past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) and book review editor of the journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. The author of numerous articles and revi...
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Title:Reading the Roots: American Nature Writing before WaldenFormat:PaperbackDimensions:430 pages, 9.23 × 6.11 × 1.07 inPublished:January 19, 2004Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820325481

ISBN - 13:9780820325484

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Editorial Reviews

By this anthology, Branch brings a new perspective to American nature writing—so that Thoreau, with his literary plan to record his attachment to nature, becomes the exceptional nature writeer instead of the seminal one as he has been seen

- Midwest Book Review