LOVE OF EARTH by Herbert E. French


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Agape with wonder at the multiple miracles of our planet, French has turned out a kind of worshipful panegyric to earth and her creatures. There is a little geology and animal husbandry, some notes on soil and minerals and deserts and woodlands and waterways -- an ingenious potpourri of Earth Science which tries, and fails, to touch. French wants you to experience it ""ever-so-intimately"" as an always changing terra infirma gurgling and burgeoning with life, the way for example Wang Lung in Pearl Buck's The Good Earth experienced it, or Rachel Carson in The Silent Spring or Loren Eiseley. Alas he doesn't have their talent, and what was meant to be poignant and lyrical is only bathetic whether he's describing the Cryptozoic (hidden-life) Era when earth was still a ""liquid, swirling, whirling mass of primordial gook"" or the utopian future when botanists will photosynthesize our food and the AEC's Fusion Torch will make all waste disappear by breaking down the detritus of our civilization (the junk car, for example) into its original elements, or even into raw energy -- ""the ultimate in recycling."" French has obviously been stirred by the ecologists but he seems only to have assimilated the optimistic science-can-solve-anything side of the message. And the moral -- ""all the world is an immense related brotherhood"" is as soft and silly as the rest.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1972
Publisher: Putnam