Zoom Book Discussion

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Book:  The Quiet Crisis

Author:  Stewart L. Udall

What:  Grab a glass of wine, a mug of beer or a drink of choice and join the question and answer discussion.

Book Description: Originally published in 1963, Stewart Udall left behind an environmental legacy.  He was a steward of the concept that we should have a nationwide land conscience. 

Having served as secretary of the interior under both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, he was successful as both an institutional leader and making obvious issues that relate to the greater good.   A prolific writer and speaker, he authored dozens of articles and nine books but is rarely recognized for the impact he made as an activist. 

Excerpt from The Quiet Crisis –

One week last fall two events came to my attention which seemed to sum up the plight of modern man: the first was a press report which indicated that T. S. Eliot, the poet, was a victim of London’s latest killer fog and lay gravely ill; the second was a call from a preservation minded citizen of New Hampshire who informed me that Robert Frost’s old farm – fixed for all time in memory by the poem West-running Brook – was now an auto junk yard.

The coincidence of these two events raised questions in my mind: Is a society a success if it creates conditions that impair its finest minds and make a wasteland of its finest landscapes? What does material abundance avail if we create an environment in which man’s highest and most specifically human attributes cannot be fulfilled?

Each generation has its own rendezvous with the land, for despite our fee titles and claims of ownership, we are all brief tenants on this planet. By choice, or by default, we will carve out a land legacy for our heirs. We can misuse the land and diminish the usefulness of resources, or we can create a world in which physical affluence and affluence of the spirit go hand in hand. 

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