A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

Leopold, Aldo | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Books & Profiles

Aldo Leopold. A Sand County Almanac. Cover (1949)

Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1949.

First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times as “a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite,” Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America’s relationship to the land.

Written with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature, the book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation.

A Sand County Almanac has enthralled generations of nature lovers and conservationists and is indeed revered by everyone seriously interested in protecting the natural world. We follow Leopold throughout the year, from January to December, as he walks about the rural Wisconsin landscape, watching a woodcock dance skyward in golden afternoon light, or spying a rough-legged hawk dropping like a feathered bomb on its prey.

And perhaps most important are Leopold’s trenchant comments throughout the book on our abuse of the land and on what we must do to preserve this invaluable treasure.  (Text adapted from Oxford University Press.)

Further readings: 
  • Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. Illustrated edition. Introduction by Kenneth Brower and photographs by Michael Sewell. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.