Wilderness and the American Spirit

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Pub Date 19 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 27 Feb 2024
Overcup Press, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles

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Description

The idea of the American spirit has always been rooted in expansion and abundance—at great cost to the environment. Americans now find themselves at the edge of consequence: entering an age of scarcity, less ready to thrive than ever before, and in need of a new relationship with the natural world.

Wilderness and the American Spirit retells the story of the American West putting our national mythology in context with our current environmental crisis. Ruby McConnell is a geologist who uses the Applegate Trail—the lesser known southern alternative to the Oregon Trail—as a vehicle to tell stories in the same way that Rachel Carson used birds and Edward Abbey used Arches. The trail begins in the deserts of Nevada, home of today's Burning Man Festival. She follows the route westward through time and place exploring map-making, land use policies, the establishment of utopian communities (both faith-based and not), and the creation of resource based economies, connecting the dots and showing how we got to now.

Blending history, science, and storytelling Wilderness and the American Spirit traces one route leading to our current moment and suggests new routes to move us forward. 

The idea of the American spirit has always been rooted in expansion and abundance—at great cost to the environment. Americans now find themselves at the edge of consequence: entering an age of...


A Note From the Publisher

Illustrated by Cole Gerst

eBook: 9798985652772

Illustrated by Cole Gerst

eBook: 9798985652772


Advance Praise

"Ruby McConnell sings a landscape from a place of stillness and reflection, improvising from talismans she finds along the Applegate Trail. Wilderness and the American Spirit is an engaging meditation about the need for a new consciousness between humans and the earth."

-- Peter Stark, author of Gallop Toward the Sun, The Last Empty Places and Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire

" A rich and nuanced telling of US ideas about land, the Frontier, identity, and so many of the individual and social experiences that have led us to the difficult moment we live within."

- David Syring, Fellow - Institute on the Environment and author of With the Saraguros: The Blended Life in a Transnational World

"McConnell beautifully muses on the call of the wild, why Americans have answered it over and over again, and the dangers of the myth of wilderness"

- Tove Danovich, journalist and author of Under the Henfluence

"McConnell lights up the lines that criss-cross the West from the notorious Humboldt Sink in Northeastern Nevada to her own Willamette Valley in Western Oregon"

- Wendy Willis, author of These are Strange Times My Dear: Field Notes from the Republic

"Ruby McConnell sings a landscape from a place of stillness and reflection, improvising from talismans she finds along the Applegate Trail. Wilderness and the American Spirit is an engaging...


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Spring 2024 promotional tour dates: Portland, SF, Seattle


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9798985652765
PRICE US$18.95 (USD)
PAGES 288

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Average rating from 2 members