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The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth
Paperback Book
December, 2006
In stock now: 
$20.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

“You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about.” So begins this cult classic which combines science, philosophy and natural history with a voracious curiosity about how the universe works. Dirt is a unique and thoughtful history of the soil that sustains us, as well as a touching memoir of his own personal connection to it. It brings mystery and magic to “that stuff that won’t come off your collar.”

In the course of its evolution, this compacted mass of interplanetary dirt called the Earth, has two primary products: soil and atmosphere. From this point of view, life on Earth is a kind of machine for making soils and atmospheres… Only here on Earth does stardust engage in this extraordinary array of self-organizing behaviors… Why is Earth’s dirt special? To a scientific mind, it is hard to admit that we don’t and possibly can’t know the answer. Answerless questions are the best kind.

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Saint Phocas, Darwin, and Virgil parade through this thought-provoking work, taking their place next to the dung beetle, the compost heap, dowsing, historical farming, and the microscopic biota that till the soil. With fresh eyes and heartfelt reverence, Logan variously observes, “The most mysterious place on Earth is right beneath our feet”, and “Dirt is the gift of each to all.”

Whether Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of “dirt,” that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.

“Logan sets out to purify dirt, to embed us so intimately in the skin of Earth that we will live momentarily, at least, entranced by its vibrancy… This is the most literate book to bring soil to soul and soul to the subterranean.” —Peter Warshall, Whole Earth


Publisher’s Description: 

A gleeful, poetic book. . . . Like the best natural histories, "Dirt" is a kind of prayer. "Los Angeles Times Book Review "

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