Reflections from the North Country

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 25, 2012 - Nature - 192 pages
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Written in the last years of his life, Reflections from the North Country is often considered Sigurd Olson's most intellectually significant work. In an account alive with anecdote and insight, Olson outlines the wilderness philosophy he developed while working as an outspoken advocate for the conservation of America's natural heritage.Based on speeches delivered at town meetings and government hearings, this book joins The Singing Wilderness and Listening Point as the core of Olson's work. Upon its initial publication in 1976, Reflections from the North Country, with Olson's unique combination of lyrical nature writing and activism, became an inspiration to the burgeoning environmental movement, selling over 46,000 copies in hardcover.

In this wide-ranging work, Olson evokes the soaring grace of raven, osprey, and eagle, the call of the loon, and the song of the hermit thrush. He challenges the reader to loosen the grasp of technology and the rush of contemporary life and make room for a sense of wonder heightened by being in nature. From evolution to the meaning and power of solitude, Olson meditates on the human condition, offering eloquent testimony to the joys and truths he discovered in his beloved north-country wilderness.
 

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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
REFLECTIONS
PART ONEPrimal Heritage
FRONTIERS
THE GATHERERS
NOMADS
INTUITION
TIMELESSNESS
BEAUTY
SIMPLICITY
COURAGE
FREEDOM
TRADITION
WHOLENESS
PART THREEThe Imponderables
THE INTANGIBLES

SOLITUDE
THE GREAT SILENCES
MYSTERY AND THE UNKNOWN
EVOLUTION OF MIND
THE DREAM OF HUDSON BAY
PART TWOSearch for Meaning
HARMONY
AWARENESS
ALIVENESS
ONENESS
LOVE OF THE LAND
FLASHES OF INSIGHT
BALANCE AND ORDER
KNOW THYSELF
CONTEMPLATION
IMMORTALITY
THE EMERGENT GOD
EPILOGUE
A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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About the author (2012)

SIGURD F. OLSON was for more than thirty years a wilderness guide in the Quetico-Superior country, and no one knew with the same intimacy the mysteries of the lakes and forests of that magnificent primitive area. To the many out-of-doorsmen who canoed and portaged with him through this wilderness, he was known honorifically as the Bourgeois -- as the voyageurs of old called their trusted leaders through this same region. Mr. Olson was born in Chicago in 1899, and educated at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois. For several years he taught biology at Ely Junior College and later served as Dean. He was President of the National Parks Association, a member of its Board of Trustees, and was for years active in organizations devoted to conservation problems. Mr. Olson was a frequent contributor to magazines concerned with the outdoors, and is the author of several books including Listening Point, The Lonely Land, Runes of the North, Reflection from the North Country, and Of Time and Place. Until his death in 1982, he made his home with his wife, Elizabeth, in Ely, Minnesota, gateway to his beloved Quetico-Superior country.

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