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The ground beneath us : from the oldest cities to the last wilderness, what dirt tells us about who we are /

by Bogard, Paul [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.Edition: First edition.Description: ix, 307 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780316342261; 0316342262.Subject(s): Soil science | Soil and civilization | Earth sciences
Contents:
Paved and hallowed. Manhattan ; Mexico City ; London ; Northern Virginia ; Gettysburg -- Farmed and wild. Bishopstone ; Soil ; Ames ; Grass ; The sandhills -- Hell and sacred. Appalachia ; Treblinka ; Alaska ; The Sierra Nevada ; Home.
List(s) this item appears in: Earth Day
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Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult NonFiction 631.4 BOG (Browse shelf) Available 39270004560052

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Our most compelling resource just might be the ground beneath our feet.
Finalist for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award

When a teaspoon of soil contains millions of species, and when we pave over the earth on a daily basis, what does that mean for our future? What is the risk to our food supply, the planet's wildlife, the soil on which every life-form depends? How much undeveloped, untrodden ground do we even have left?

Paul Bogard set out to answer these questions in The Ground Beneath Us, and what he discovered is astounding.

From New York (where more than 118,000,000 tons of human development rest on top of Manhattan Island) to Mexico City (which sinks inches each year into the Aztec ruins beneath it), Bogard shows us the weight of our cities' footprints. And as we see hallowed ground coughing up bullets at a Civil War battlefield; long-hidden remains emerging from below the sites of concentration camps; the dangerous, alluring power of fracking; the fragility of the giant redwoods, our planet's oldest living things; the surprises hidden under a Major League ballpark's grass; and the sublime beauty of our few remaining wildest places, one truth becomes blazingly clear: The ground is the easiest resource to forget, and the last we should.

Bogard's The Ground Beneath Us is deeply transporting reading that introduces farmers, geologists, ecologists, cartographers, and others in a quest to understand the importance of something too many of us take for granted: dirt. From growth and life to death and loss, and from the subsurface technologies that run our cities to the dwindling number of idyllic Edens that remain, this is the fascinating story of the ground beneath our feet.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-297) and index.

Paved and hallowed. Manhattan ; Mexico City ; London ; Northern Virginia ; Gettysburg -- Farmed and wild. Bishopstone ; Soil ; Ames ; Grass ; The sandhills -- Hell and sacred. Appalachia ; Treblinka ; Alaska ; The Sierra Nevada ; Home.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction (p. 3)
  • Paved and Hallowed
  • Manhattan (p. 13)
  • Mexico City (p. 29)
  • London (p. 43)
  • Northern Virginia (p. 61)
  • Gettysburg (p. 79)
  • Farmed and Wild
  • Bishopstone (p. 95)
  • Soil (p. 109)
  • Ames (p. 119)
  • Grass (p. 135)
  • The Sandhills (p. 159)
  • Hell and Sacred
  • Appalachia (p. 177)
  • Treblinka (p. 201)
  • Alaska (p. 217)
  • The Sierra Nevada (p. 235)
  • Home (p. 249)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 259)
  • Notes (p. 265)
  • Index (p. 299)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This ambitious work from Bogard (The End of Night) spans the globe with his trips to megacities, Civil War battlefields, and Yu'pik hunting grounds. He gathers and rehashes facts about climate change and other soil-related environmental threats, including melting permafrost, factory farms, and the vast square miles of concrete in the United States. The book establishes that soil is fundamental to humanity's survival and human health and then discusses urban children suffering from "nature deficit disorder." It alludes to the vast microbiology in soil but never dives into the science. He describes the feeling of wonder he experiences when watching nature, sometimes evocatively ("The ground is colored with the golds and reds and blues of berries, the colors vivid"), but he rarely induces similar sentiments in his readers. Bogard inserts long, blocky quotes into his writing but neglects to assess opinions or offer varied perspectives. Verdict Ultimately, this attempt at a call-to-action love story to the earth will fail to move readers intellectually or emotionally.-Lara Herrington Watson, formerly with James Madison Preparatory Sch., Tempe, AZ © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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