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What's happening

* For op-eds on the 2020 fire season, go to Commentaries.

* Both Fire: A Brief History, 2e and Fire in America are now available as audiobooks.  My thanks to Jack de Golia and Audible.




I'VE BEEN LUCKY in the big things.  Since retiring from teaching, I've been able to write books that summarize the two grand themes of my career.


BEGIN with the Pyrocene.  It's time to use the concept more forcefully.  For a fuller explanation, see Pyrocene (or above, in banner).  I've written a short book that the University of California Press will publish in fall, 2021.


STILL, I'm a hedgehog who knew two big things. I'm juggling fire with my other major theme and have written a 600-year survey history of exploration that I'm calling The Great Ages of Discovery. How Western Civilization Learned about a Wider World (my shorthand for the book is EGAD, Exploration's Great Ages of Discovery). It abstracts the conceptual framework that undergirded The Ice, How the Canyon Became Grand, and Voyager.  Exploration has been Western Civ's quest narrative.  I've been working on this topic since graduate school. Now it is out. For a short trailer, click here. And click here for the launch event (and interview).



     ~ To the Last Smoke: An Anthology, an abridgement of the 9-book series.  Click here for a brief video introduction.

     ~ The Still-Burning Bush, revised and updated, is now out in both Australia and the U.S.

       ~  Fire: A Brief History now exists in a revised, second edition.  An Australian edition with an Aussie-themed preface is available.  Italian, French, and Spanish editions are in the works.  The book underwrote my guest editorship with Natural History for a special issue on fire (September, 2019). 


OTHERWISE, I'm working on fire history of Mexico and our urban Farm at the End of the Road, where I wrangle sheep, chickens, and citrus, and follow Voltaire's admonition to tend my garden.

Primer on American fire for journalists (303 KB)

A concise summary of wildland fire and its management (June 2020).


Other projects


* Wild Visions, a book on wilderness in the contemporary scene, modeled on the old Sierra Club exhibit-format series. Ben Minteer is the lead author and Mark Klett is overseeing the photos; I'm writing some secondary copy.  Yale University Press will publish.

* Five Suns: a fire history of Mexico, a project that I have long had in mind. It appears I will finally have the time to pursue it.


* Vidas en fuego. I'm facilitating a collection of autobiographies from six major figures in Mexican fire research and management.  Working to get it into the hands of a Mexican publisher. 


Scenes from two public lectures. (l) Stewart Brand and I fielding questions after my talk for the Long Now Foundation. (r) My 2015 TED Talk.