Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West

Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West


By (author) Rebecca Solnit

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 440 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 208mm x 30mm | 520g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520282280
  • ISBN 13: 9780520282285
  • Edition: 20
  • Edition statement: 20th First Edition, 20th Anniversar ed.
  • Illustrations note: 3 black & white images, 1 map
  • Sales rank: 472,283

Product description

"A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book."--Larry McMurtry In 1851, a war began in what would become Yosemite National Park, a war against the indigenous inhabitants. A century later--in 1951--and a hundred and fifty miles away, another war began when the U.S. government started setting off nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site. It was called a nuclear testing program, but functioned as a war against the land and people of the Great Basin. In this foundational book of landscape theory and environmental thinking, Rebecca Solnit explores our national Eden and Armageddon and offers a pathbreaking history of the west, focusing on the relationship between culture and its implementation as politics. In a new preface, she considers the continuities and changes of these invisible wars in the context of our current climate change crisis, and reveals how the long arm of these histories continue to inspire her writing and hope.

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Author information

Rebecca Solnit is the author of many books, including Storming the Gates of Paradise, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, all from UC Press.

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"A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book. . . . Rebecca Solnit tells this story with the passion and clarity it deserves."--Larry McMurtry "The product of a stunningly original and expansive imagination. Savage Dreams ties together the histories of Yosemite National Park and the Nevada Test Site... to illuminate the political stakes of how we think about, and act upon, the landscape." --"SF Weekly" "Savage Dreams summons us to the campfires of resistance."--Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz "Savage Dreams is about many things: despoliation and restoration, finding a voice between contemporary noise and silence, making friends and enemies. Most of all, though, it may be about a journey into history: about how understanding history and making it are not really very different."--Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces "A wonderful and important book, weaving past and present, politics and spirituality, land and history, pleasure and outrage, esthetics and activism, into a map where we as Americans find ourselves today. Intellectually challenging but beautifully written and eminently readable, Savage Dreams has both heart and teeth." --Lucy Lippard, author of Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory

Table of contents

Acknowledgments New Preface DUST, OR ERASING THE FUTURE: THE NEVADA TEST SITE From Hell to Breakfast Like Moths to a Candle April Fool's Day Trees Lise Meitner's Walking Shoes Golden Hours and Iron County Ruby Valley and the Ranch The War Keeping Pace with the Tortoise WATER, OR FORGETTING THE PAST: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK The Rainbow Spectators Framing the View Vanishing (Remaining) Fire in the Garden The Name of the Snake Up the River of Mercy Savage's Grave Full Circle Afterword Sources Index