“The” Humboldt Current: 19th Century Exploration and the Sources of American Environmentalism
A masterly intellectual history of the impact of 19th-century explorer Alexander von Humboldt on American culture and science
The naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769Â–1859) achieved unparalleled fame in his own time. Today, his enormous legacy to American thought is virtually unknown. In The Humboldt Current, Aaron Sachs seeks to reverse this obscurity by tracing HumboldtÂ's pervasive influence on American history, specifically looking at the lives and careers of four explorers: J. N. Reynolds, the founder of the 1838Â–1842 U.S. Exploring Expedition; Clarence King, the first director of the U.S. Geological Survey; George Wallace Melville, chief engineer on the disastrous 1879 Jeannette expedition to the North Pole; and John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. In SachsÂ's view, all four of these men were alienated Romantics who used HumboldtÂ's notion of Â“unity in diversityÂ” as a way of critiquing their increasingly industrialized society. Moreover, as Sachs argues, their examples laid the groundwork for an ecological tradition even more radical than the one that has come down to us today. SachsÂ's treatment of HumboldtÂ's legacy also includes discussions of the writers and artists most in his debt: Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, Melville, Poe, and Frederic Church. Reminiscent of Louis MenandÂ's bestselling The Metaphysical Club, The Humboldt Current is a colorful, superbly written and carefully researched work that offers a fundamental reinterpretation of nineteenth century American history.
47 pages matching environmental in this book
Results 1-3 of 47
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration and the Roots of American EnvironmentalismUser Review - Goodreads
Learning so much from this beautifully written book...
Review: The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration and the Roots of American EnvironmentalismUser Review - Sara Kowalski - Goodreads
Environmentalism is not new or just something the hippies started preaching in the 70s. This is an awesome read and education in the early years, at least those recorded. Read full review
Personal Narrative of a Journey Radical Romanticism
Cosmos Unification Ecology
5 other sections not shown