The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us about Who We Are

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Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Little Brown and Company
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.1 X 9.2 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author

Paul Bogard is the author of The End of Night and the editor of the anthology Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark. His writing and commentary on the natural world have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on Slate, Salon, and All Things Considered. He teaches creative nonfiction at James Madison University and lives in Virginia and Minnesota.


Praise for The Ground Beneath Us

"A beautiful call for deeper physical, intellectual, and emotional connections between people and Earth. Paul Bogard eloquently describes the roots of culture and ecology, and the importance of the many forms of 'ground' and soil for our collective future."--David George Haskell, author of The Songs of Trees and the Pulitzer finalist, The Forest Unseen; Professor of Biology, University of the South
"Bogard considers both built landscapes and more natural ones in this diverse and engaging discussion on dirt. Examining urban areas such as New York City, he looks at "what's gone missing, what remains, what may come to be." The soil is "a trove of biodiversity" that we have yet to fully explore, and Bogard chats with an array of experts to learn how to dig deeper."

--Publishers Weekly
Praise for The End of Night

Shortlisted for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

Finalist, Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award

Chosen as one of Gizmodo's Best Books of 2013

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, Nonfiction: Editors' Pick, July 2013

2014 Nautilus Award Silver Winner
"A lyrical, far-reaching book. Part elegy, part call-to-arms, The End of Night feels like an essential addition to the literature of nature." -- Boston Globe
"A moving, poetic, immersive, multifaceted, and thought-provoking study... Terrific." -- Publishers Weekly
"[Bogard] offers delightful insights from experts on the activities of nature during the night.... Bogard will leave readers in awe of darkness and in admiration of his book." -- Library Journal (starred review)
"It's impossible to read it without feeling the impulse to set out for the spaces beyond the city limits and spread out a blanket under the stars." -- Columbus Dispatch
"Absorbing... The End of Night delivers a forceful...critique of our overexposed world." -- Wall Street Journal
"A hymn to vanished darkness. A literary journey. This is a rich book. As you read it, you too will want to reclaim the night and perhaps rediscover the heavens of the Enlightenment." -- Nature
"A whopper of a cautionary tale... Beyond ecological concerns, Bogard asserts that pavement disconnects us from nature, making the land seem homogeneous and undermining our well-being. The fragility of the life-giving earth we call dirt is the fragility of us all."--Booklist
"An intriguing examination of the ground, which 'holds the wild world in place'.... environmental journalist Bogard contributes an expert if unsettling account of the 'living ground.' In the author's expansive view, the ground is whatever lies under our feet, and he explores the many ways humans exploit it until, ultimately, they pave it.... insightful, wide-ranging."--Kirkus
"Bogard reminds us of the riches underfoot, from New York's Central Park soil biome, which teems with thousands of freshly discovered species, to terrestrial pitstops that keep migrating birds on the wing."--Nature
"With lively and deeply personal prose, Bogard unlocks the secret world of earth itself: from the startling biodiversity of soil, to hallowed sites like Gettysburg and New York's World Trade Center, to all that is sacred and profane we ask the ground to hold.... This is a gorgeous--and very important--book. Once you've read it, you won't walk, stand, or sway the same way again."--Bookish
"Mind-blowing.... For the science-minded, this book is a dream and conservationists will want to share, share, share. If you're curious about what's underfoot or under-pavement, The Ground Beneath Us will keep you rooted in your chair."--Terri Schlichenmeyer, Long View Daily News