Oak : The Frame of Civilization


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Professional arborist and award-winning nature writer William Bryant Logan deftly relates the delightful history of the reciprocal relationship between humans and oak trees since time immemorial-a profound link that has almost been forgotten. From the ink of Bach's cantatas, to the first boat to reach the New World, to the wagon, the barrel, and the sword, oak trees have been a constant presence throughout our history. In fact, civilization prospered where oaks grew, and for centuries these supremely adaptable, generous trees have supported humankind in nearly every facet of life. "With an unabashed enthusiasm for his subject" (Carol Haggas, Booklist) Logan combines science, philosophy, spirituality, and history with a contagious curiosity about why the natural world works the way it does. At once humorous and reverent, "this splendid acknowledgment of a natural marvel" (Publishing News) reintroduces the oak tree so that we might see its vibrant presence throughout our history and our modern world.

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  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 134.6 x 208.3 x 22.9mm | 294.84g
  • WW Norton & Co
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 0393327787
  • 9780393327786
  • 144,087

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"His underpinning achievement in this book is to make us appreciate just how central one family of trees has been to a whole spectrum of human activities and achievements... wise and excellent..." Mark Cocker, The Times Literary Supplement * "There is no talk of hugging trees in the extraordinary little book, Oak: The Frame of Civilization, but I feel sure that Logan is a tree-hugger." Stephen Anderton, Literary Review * "A dazzling book, full of knowledge and rare wisdom, too." Thomas Pakenham"

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About William Bryant Logan

William Bryant Logan is a Quill & Trowel Award-winning writer, a member of the faculty at the New York Botanical Garden, a sought-after lecturer and teacher, and a practicing arborist. He is the author of Oak and Dirt, the latter of which was made into an award-winning documentary. He lives in New York City and the Hudson Valley.

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