Books by Jack Turner

Released: April 1, 2008

"Champions of Yellowstone and the truly wild West already know Turner's work. This one merits a wide audience, particularly in the Department of the Interior."
Roughly elegant meditations on one of the wildest of wild places. Read full book review >
SPICE by Jack Turner
Released: Aug. 17, 2004

"A wide-ranging, learned treat for epicures and cultural historians from—let us say it first—a man for all seasonings. (8-page color insert, b&w illustrations in text)"
A convincing case that once upon a time spices were pretty influential in world history. Read full book review >
TEEWINOT by Jack Turner
Released: June 8, 2000

"Turner's writing is muscular, never swaggering, and almost lyrical, summoning a Teton Range in its rightful, sublime austerity. His own sensibilities, though, are a bit overdone at times. (b&w photos, not seen)"
Mountaineer Turner's (The Abstract Wild, 1996) portrait of a Teton guiding season is a measured luxuriance in the landscape, a love song to the natural history of a place, and a tad self-conscious and defensive tale. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 30, 1996

Loosely connected but powerfully written essays on our relationship to wilderness. Much of the contemporary environmental literature names as enemies of the wild corporate agriculture, logging, mining, and ranching. For first-time author and accomplished Himalayas trekker Turner, the usual suspects will not do; instead, he names as the real enemies the abstractions that govern our lives and divorce us from the natural world. We prefer, Turner says, ``artifice, copy, simulation, and surrogate,'' and what we wind up with are national parks like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, which resemble nothing so much as Disneyland. We are also addicted to ``economics, recreation, and amusement at the expense of other values,'' which has kept us from leaving wilderness alone. Instead, we cover the landscape with ski lodges, trailer parks, and mountain trails—and free it of its native wildlife, like the 250,000 wild predators the federal government kills on public lands each year. Turner celebrates environmental activists like Edward Abbey, Aldo Leopold, and Doug Peacock while poking fun at current environmentalist orthodoxies and tactics: ``If you go to Mecca and blaspheme the Black Stone, the believers will feed you to the midges, piece by piece. Go to Yellowstone and destroy grizzlies and grizzly habitat, and the believers will dress up in bear costumes, sing songs, and sign petitions.'' And, he observes, wilderness advocates who do not fully acquaint themselves with the wild up close and personal cannot hope to understand the object of their desires: ``Wisdom . . . cannot emerge from tourism in a relic wilderness.'' ``I have been charged with belligerent ecological fundamentalism,'' Turner writes. And for good cause. This sometimes blistering, provocative, well-written book is an ecoradical's dream come true—and every reader concerned with wilderness issues should take it into account. Read full book review >