A Terrible Beauty; The Wilderness of American Literature.

Author:Sutherland, Matt
Position:Brief article - Book review

Jonah Raskin; A TERRIBLE BEAUTY; Regent Press (Nonfiction: Nature) 15.95 ISBN: 9781587902789

Byline: Matt Sutherland

Over the centuries, Americans have held conflicted feelings toward North America's vast, treacherous, majestic wilderness, headed up by the cocksure, heavily-armed desire to subjugate -- level the forests, eradicate the indigenous population, hunt the wildlife down to near or complete extinction. Ironically, this attitude was often accompanied by a sense of admiration -- pride, even -- of the continent's natural beauty. Even so, the tame and the wild, the idea that a civilized Christian United States might comfortably coexist with great pockets of wilderness was not something most early Americans could wrap their brains around. That is, until the likes of Thoreau, Melville, and Whitman started exploring the American psyche.

In A Terrible Beauty, Jonah Ruskin performs the hugely important authorial service of providing readers with a...

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