Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire

By Reidel, Carl | American Forests, Autumn 1997 | Go to article overview

Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire


Reidel, Carl, American Forests


ALDO LEOPOLD: A FIERCE GREEN FIRE by Marybeth Lorbiecke. Falcon Publishing Co., Helena, MT (1996). 220 pp., cloth, ISBN 1-56044-478-9, $19.95.

Here is the plain story of a man's life, a warm and human biography of Aldo Leopold as son, husband, father, and teacher. Biographer Marybeth Lorbiecki traces Leopold's life, carefully chronicling his personal experiences without overly imposing her own interpretations of how these experiences shaped his character and eventual writings. Nevertheless, she offers rare insights into the human side of this now-revered conservation philosopher. She recounts, for example, how a close friend encouraged him to admit that his earlier ideas about predators were wrong: "You never drop a hint that you yourself have once despoiled [the land], or at least had a strong hand in it," Albert Hochbaum wrote to Leopold in 1944, concluding that, "It is only by accepting ourselves for what we are, the best of us and the worst of us, that we can hold any hope for the future. …

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