Coming Out of the Woods: The Solitary Life of a Maverick Naturalist

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Perseus Pub., 2000 - Nature - 336 pages
In 1974 Wallace Kaufman, following the romantic vision of a simpler life in harmony with nature he first glimpsed in Thoreau's Walden , moved on to his own land by a small stream in the North Carolina woods. Now, twenty-five years later, he emerges to tell a tale somewhat different from Thoreau's-an entertaining, moving, and distinctly late-twentieth-century story of a life lived in the wild as landowner, environmentally conscious developer, builder, farmer, conservationist, wilderness steward. His love of nature and his commitment to preserving it never waver, even as he tells the sometimes hilarious, sometimes catastrophic story of the ragtag cast of 1970s "back-to-the-land" characters who buy shares of his land in the wake of the first Earth Day; of trying to build a road without cutting down trees or disturbing a streambed, but at last giving in and learning to chainsaw and dynamite; of building his own home; of resorting to violence when flying squirrels refuse the special niches he builds into his walls and insist on taking up residence in his ceiling; of preserving his old-growth forest; of the awesome devastation of hurricanes.

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Coming out of the woods: the solitary life of a maverick naturalist

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When he buys a North Carolina forest to sell to individuals willing to live in harmony with nature, English professor, Oxford scholar, and conservationist Kaufman (No Turning Back: Dismantling the ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Wallace Kaufman is a science writer and author of several popular nature books, including Coming Out of the Woods (978-0-7382-0488-8), No Turning Back (978-0-595-00099-9), and The Beaches Are Moving (978-0-8223-0574-3). He lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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