A Reenchanted World

The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature

James William Gibson

Picador

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“A fast-paced and highly rewarding account of the struggle to realize a deeper consciousness of the human relationship with nature—before it is too late.”—James Gustave Speth

For more than two centuries, as Western cultures became ever more industrialized, the natural world was increasingly regarded as little more than a collection of useful raw resources. The folklore of powerful forest spirits was displaced by the practicalities of logging; the traditional rituals of hunting ceremonies gave way to indiscriminate butchering of animals for meat markets. In the famous lament of Max Weber, our surroundings became “disenchanted,” with nature’s magic swept away by secularization and rationalization.

But as acclaimed sociologist James William Gibson reveals in this insightful study, the culture of enchantment is making an astonishing comeback. From Greenpeace eco-warriors to evangelical Christians preaching “creation care” and geneticists who speak of human-animal kinship, Gibson finds a remarkably broad yearning for a spiritual reconnection to nature. As we grapple with increasingly dire environmental disasters, Gibson points to this cultural shift as the last utopian dream, the final hope for protecting the world that all of us must live in.

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Book Excerpts

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Introduction 

Call of the Wild

 

Like Special Forces commandos, the L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies and Firefighters came at 2:00 am, when they knew their enemy would be asleep. Earlier that day, a force of two hundred had secured a perimeter around the camp, cutting off all sources of outside resupply, while a small reconnaissance team managed to steal most of the man's food and water. After a seventy-one-day siege, the lone warrior knew the end was coming and chained himself into place for one last stand.

 

The assault came off with military precision.

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About the Author

James William Gibson

James William Gibson is the author of Warrior Dreams: Paramilitary Culture in Post-Vietnam America and The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam. A frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times and winner of multiple awards, including a Guggenheim, Gibson is a professor of sociology at California State University, Long Beach. He lives in Los Angeles.

James William Gibson

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Available Formats and Book Details

A Reenchanted World
The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature
James William Gibson

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
March 2010
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780805091489
ISBN10: 0805091483
5 1/4 x 8 inches, 320 pages
$19.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
April 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429994866
ISBN10: 142999486X
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$7.99
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Picador

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