Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West


Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.7 X 0.9 inches | 0.95 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Author of Mountains of the Great Blue Dream, Arctic Circle: Birth and Rebirth in the Land of the Caribou, and America, New Mexico, Robert Leonard Reid has received grants from the Sierra Arts Foundation and the Nevada Arts Council. He has worked as a songwriter, a cabaret pianist, and a mathematics textbook writer. He lives in Carson City, Nevada, with his wife, Carol Dimmick Reid. They have a son, Jake.


Praise for Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West

A Finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

If Robert Leonard Reid isn't on your reading list of Western writers of nonfiction, you should place him on it . . . Reid writes about nature in ways that are clear-eyed, incandescent, and provocative. --Albuquerque Journal

There are many books about the American West. This one, Robert Leonard Reid's lustrous, selected essays from the last four decades, is indispensable. The pages embody the beauty they describe. We find here lightning bolts and bears, the balletic caribou, atomic weapons, legendary wolves, mountaintops where light is a territory of spirit, adventures daft and courageous. We find both the grit and sorrow of history and meditations on redemption and the sacred. But best of all, and most of all, we have the company of the writer: his clear, loving, respectful prose, his bemusement and honesty and learning, the finery of his reflections, and the integrity of his journey." Steven Nightingale, author of Granada and The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace

Calling Robert Reid an outdoor writer is like calling Thoreau a writer about pond camping. There is so much more. He writes authoritatively and passionately about the West, especially the wild parts. Wilderness is not better when empty of man, in Reid's descriptions of it; in fact, you might almost say it fails to exist, without some questing consciousness standing under a nighttime mountain sky, hanging thoughts on the shivering stars. Reid has been writing classic American essays full of Twain-like humor and Emersonian moral force for forty years now. In this collection we find him in his calmly formidable prime. -- Robert Roper, author of Nabokov in America

I promise you, this is a man who can enhance, change, and vitalize your life. I also promise you he brings all that together in these pages: you're going to love this book. --David Lee, Pulitzer Prize nominee for News from Down to the Cafe

Forty years in the making, this astonishing collection could not come at a more urgent time. Its title, Because It Is So Beautiful, alludes to Robert Reid's unrelenting quest to celebrate our vulnerable, historic wilderness, but it also speaks to his prose, and to himself. With lyricism, charm, and trenchant observations, he inspires readers to meditate on the importance of being alive, of being responsible for the landscapes we inhabit. He remains not merely a first-class writer but an invaluable moral guide.--Sascha Feinstein, author of Wreckage: My Father's Legacy of Art & Junk and Ask Me Now: Conversations on Jazz & Literature