Reflections on the Imperiled Everglades
by Joel M. Curzon
3-time 2011 Ben Franklin
Gold Medal Winner!
Award-winning title! This book has won 5 awards. Read more . . .
Denoting the most famous wetland in the world’s richedst nation, the term “Everglades” has become a cultural palimpsest, layered with meanings that vary from person to person. Although
a portion of this landscape is protected within the confines
of Everglades National Park, it extends well beyond that in space
and in time, encompassing a unique land that has arisen in its current incarnation only since the end of the most recent ice age, touching to one degree or another land and water from near present-day Orlando to the tip of the Florida Peninsula, and out into the salty waters of Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, with their bordering coral reefs
In his own time in the Everglades, Joel Curzon found his own meaning, deeply personal, which he brings to light in the language of his prose and the imagery of his photography. The result is at once a stirring depiction of the place and a passionate plea for its preservation and restoration. In its hard-edged appraisal of the Everglades’ continued decline and of the cultural causes of that decline, Curzon’s book is a bracing tonic against complacency regarding the Everglades’ fate and the prospects of restoration efforts. As he says, the question now posed is not whether the Everglades is worthy of our love and protection, but “whether we, as Americans, are worthy of the Everglades: Thus far, we have not been.”
Light Fading is a call to cosmic humility in our interactions with the natural world. It limns a biting critique of our continued insistence on perpetual growth, and demands a renewed realism in coping with the limits of physical reality. In the Everglades itself, the author makes clear that which merits our rekindled reverence:
The riches of the Everglades lie not in dramatic formations of dead rock—the kind of features that, though beautiful, can be found as well in the arid sterility of a Martian landscape as on the living Earth—but in that most precious and unique of the universe’s commodities, in the diversity, order, and structure of Life itself: the complex web of individual organisms, intricately interrelated and interdependent, each representing millions—even billions—of years of accumulated order, winnowed by natural selection, the harvest of epochs deep beyond the comprehension of the human imagination.
“This is a powerful book, a powerful evocation of the startling majesty of the Everglades.”
— Ken Burns
ISBN13: 978-1-931807-28-9, $29.95, full color, 10.25 x 13.5 clothbound, 326 pages, over 300 photographs and illustrations.
Visit the Website: Light Fading