Conserving Words
How American Nature Writers 
Shaped the Environmental Movement
by Daniel J. Philippon 
 
How did American nature writers shape the environmental movement? To answer this difficult question, Daniel Philippon looks at five authors of seminal works of nature writing who also founded or revitalized important environmental organizations: Theodore Roosevelt and the Boone and Crockett Club, Mabel Osgood Wright and the National Audubon Society, John Muir and the Sierra Club, Aldo Leopold and the Wilderness Society, and Edward Abbey and Earth First! 
These writers used powerfully evocative and galvanizing metaphors for nature, metaphors that Philippon calls "conserving" words. Integrating literature, history, biography, and philosophy, this ambitious study explores how "conserving" words enabled narratives to convey environmental values as they explained how human beings should interact with the nonhuman world. 

Each of these writers, Philippon contends, understood "nature" through a particular metaphor that best fit his or her time, place, and personal history: frontier (Roosevelt), garden (Wright), park (Muir), wilderness (Leopold), or utopia (Abbey). When these writers perceived an injustice to some portion of the natural world, they used these metaphors--and were used by them--to found advocacy organizations, rally concerned citizens, and preserve threatened landscapes. 

Conserving Words is a significant contribution to the environmental humanities. An accessible examination of the "ecology of influence," it closely connects particular nature writers, their texts, and their readership to formative events in environmental history.

Conserving Words
Conserving Words
How American Nature Writers 
Shaped the Environmental Movement
by Daniel J. Philippon 
University of Georgia Press, 2004.
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