Paperback / softback
March 1, 2000
9780295979489
English
65 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
2.19 Pounds (US)
$39.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Hardback
July 16, 2015
9780295996172
English
672
65 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
2.49 Pounds (US)
$95.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Vestal Fire

An Environmental History, Told through Fire, of Europe and Europe's Encounter with the World

Stephen Pyne has been described as having a consciousness "composed of equal parts historian, ecologist, philosopher, critic, poet, and sociologist." At this time in history when many people are trying to understand their true relationship with the natural environment, this book offers a remarkable contribution—breathtaking in the scope of its research and exhilarating to read.

Pyne takes the reader on a journey through time, exploring the terrain of Europe and the uses and abuses of its lands as well as, through migration and conquest, many parts of the rest of the world. Whether he is discussing the Mediterranean region, Russia, Scandinavia, the British Isles, central Europe, or colonized islands; whether he is considering the impact of agriculture, forestry, or Enlightenment thinking, the author brings an unmatched insight to his subject.

Vestal Fire takes its title from Vesta, Roman goddess of the hearth and keeper of the sacred fire on Mount Olympus. But the book's title also suggests the strengths and limitations of Europe's peculiar conception of fire, and through fire, of its relationship to nature. Between the untamed fire of the wilderness and the tended fire of the hearth lies a never-ending dialectic in which human beings struggle to control natural forces and processes that in fact can sometimes be directed but never wholly dominated or contained.

About the Author

Stephen J. Pyne is professor of history at Arizona State University. He is the author of nine other books, including Fire on the Rim: A Firefighter's Season at the Grand Canyon.

Reviews

"Vestal Fire can be described as Pyne's masterpiece, a prodigious and eloquent narration of European history spanning several millennia, woven together by a common thread, fire."—Choice

"A work of marvelous intellectual force and considerable learning."—Atlantic Monthly

"No one is better qualified to teach us about fire's history, fire's crucial role in shaping landscapes, than Stephen Pyne. His discussions of forestry, land-management elitism, pastoral incendiarism, nature reserves, the conservation movement and the ecology of disturbance are profoundly valuable."—New York Times Book Review

"Vestal Fire is Stephen Pyne's masterpiece. In it, he offers nothing less than a retelling of all of European history from a vantage point no other historian has ever adopted so consistently before: that of the fire which in Pyne's view burns at the very heart of Western civilization."—William Cronon, from the Foreword

Endorsements

"Stephen Pyne's Vestal Fire is an astounding tour de force, even by this writer's demandingly high standards: nothing less than a total history of the western conception, practice, and response to fire through (at least) three millennia."—Simon Schama, author of Landscape and Memory

9780295979489 : vestal-fire-pyne
Paperback / softback
$39.95 USD
9780295996172 : vestal-fire-pyne
Hardback
672 Pages
$95.00 USD

Other Titles by Stephen J. Pyne

Fire, second edition

Stephen J. Pyne
Jul 2019 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Burning Bush

Stephen J. Pyne
Mar 2016 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles from Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books

Bringing Whales Ashore

Jakobina K. Arch
Aug 2020 - University of Washington Press
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Cultivating Nature

Sarah R. Hamilton
Aug 2020 - University of Washington Press
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Seeds of Control

David Fedman
Jul 2020 - University of Washington Press
$40.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in NATURE / Ecosystems & Habitats / Wilderness

Foundations for Advancing Animal Ecology

Michael L. Morrison, Leonard A. Brennan, Bruce G. Marcot, William M. Block, and Kevin S. McKelvey
Oct 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$69.95 USD - Hardback
$69.95 USD - Electronic book text

International Wildlife Management

edited by John L. Koprowski and Paul R. Krausman
Sep 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$74.95 USD - Electronic book text
$74.95 USD - Hardback

Quantitative Analyses in Wildlife Science

edited by Leonard A. Brennan, Andrew N. Tri, and Bruce G. Marcot
Sep 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$74.95 USD - Hardback
$74.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in Forestry & related industries

Ecology and Empire

edited by Tom Griffiths, Libby Robin
Aug 2017 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Toward a Sustainable Whaling Regime

edited by Robert Friedheim
May 2017 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Northwest Passage, revised edition

William Dietrich, introduction by William Dietrich
Jun 2016 - University of Washington Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback