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Green Culture: Environmental Rhetoric In Contemporary America

Green Culture: Environmental Rhetoric In Contemporary America
Author: Carl Herndl
ISBN 13: 9780299149949
ISBN 10: 299149943
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication Date: 1996-03-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
List Price: $21.95

Green Culture is about an idea - the environment - and how we talk about it. Is the environment something simply "out there" in the world to be found? Or is it, as this book suggests, a concept and a set of cultural values constructed by our use of language? That language, in its many forms, comes under scrutiny here, as distinguished authors writing from a variety of perspectives consider how our idea and our discussion of the environment evolve together, and how this process results in action - or inaction. Listen to politicians, social scientists, naturalists, and economists talk about the environment, and a problem becomes clear: dramatic differences on environmental issues are embedded in dramatically different discourses. This book explores these differences and shows how an understanding of rhetoric might lead to their resolution. The authors examine specific environmental debates - over the Great Lakes and Yellowstone, a toxic waste dump in North Carolina, and an episode in Red Lodge, Montana. They look at how genres such as nature writing and specific works such as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring have influenced environmental discourse. And they investigate the impact of cultural traditions, from the landscape painting of the Hudson River School to the rhetoric of the John Birch Society, on our positions on the environment. Most of the scholars gathered here are also hikers, canoeists, climbers, or bird watchers, and their work reflects a deep, personal interest in the natural world in connection with the human community. Concerned throughout to make the methods of rhetorical analysis perfectly clear, they offer readers a rare chance to see what, precisely, we are talking about when we talk about the environment.


Contributors analyze the environmental debates occurring in a variety of institutional and cultural locations, from public hearings on nuclear waste sites to 19th-century landscape painting. They describe the historical and cultural sources of the rhetoric used to talk about the environment and show how that language shapes contemporary debates, while setting out the basic tools of rhetorical criticism. Paper edition (unseen), $21.00. CIP cites the subtitle as Rhetorical analyses of environmental discourse. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)