All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West

AlltheWildthatRemainsAll The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West
David Gessner
W. W. Norton & Company, March 31, 2015
Kindle edition $12.99, Amazon hardcover $18.36

I stumbled across this book while looking for Kindle editions of Edward Abbey’s writings. I’m glad that I did.

This is a fascinating survey of the lives of Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner, combined with a lot of depressing information about climate change and water issues in the West, mixed up with enjoyable accounts of the author’s travels and encounters in the region.

One thing Gessner does well is to contrast Stegner the academic with Abbey the outdoorsman and sometime monkeywrencher. He concludes that despite what you might guess based on those personas, Stegner was the more radical of the two in his views on the West and the environment. Others whose paths crossed those of the two men, and who also had a deep concern for the land and the environment get attention as well. Wendell Berry, Joseph Wood Krutch, and Bernard DeVoto all make appearances here.

Gessner wanders the West himself and does a marvelous job of describing both the landscape and the people he interviews, whose lives are inextricably intertwined with the fate of the West.

For those that know and love the West, this is worthwhile reading.


One Comment on “All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West”

  1. Kate says:

    I am just finishing up another of Gessner’s books, The Return of the Osprey. I love his writing style. It’s like eating a delicious and healthy meal. Five stars for this book.


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