Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Natural Environments of Arizona: From Deserts to Mountains

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Natural Environments of Arizona: From Deserts to Mountains

Article excerpt

Review: Natural Environments of Arizona: From Deserts to Mountains Peter F. Ffolliott and Owen H. David (Eds.) Reviewed by Elery Hamilton-Smith Charles Sturt University, Australia Ffolliott, Peter F. & David, Owen H. (Eds.) Natural Environments of Arizona: From Deserts to Mountains. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2008. 196 pp. ISBN 9780816526970. US$19.95, paper.

This book comprises a series of essays, each describing the diverse environments of the state from a specific disciplinary perspective. As a whole, the book has two very valuable characteristics. The first is that each chapter locates Arizona in both continental and global contexts and thus provides a basis for comparisons with other regions. The second is that all authors give attention to clarity of description and explanation - a great benefit to readers from other disciplines.

At the same time, the rigorous containment of each chapter within its disciplinary boundaries results in a fragmentation of knowledge and a significant problem in attaining a holistic perspective and understanding. The editors claim that it ". . . clearly shows that nature is more than picturesque landscapes, vegetation and wildlife." However, they have failed to take the next step and to recognise that an overview of a natural area is far more than the sum of separate disciplinary views. …

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