70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant,original and thought-provoking book,
This review is from: Landscape and Memory (Paperback)
In a wide sweep of history that encompassess as unlikely a set of figures as Varus, a Roman general responsible for a catastrophic lost battle in the Black Forest and a 19th century French founder of the concept of "eco-rambling", Simon Schama has produced a stunning work that seeks to answer the central question: is our view of nature ruled by the mind, or by magical human interpretations? Woven into this rich,scholarly tapestry of ideas we meet the man who carved Mt. Rushmore and Hermann Goering. How are these people's ideas linked (or not) to Thoreau is just one of the questions answered by Schama.
There are few books that could match this pyrotechnic display of learning and exposition of aesthetic views of nature that have shaped warfare,politics,religion and modern ecology. It is impossible to view today's environmentalism before reading this provocative and insightful book the same way as when one puts it down.