Selected Books and Essays

What should we do with Smokey Bear?
Fire on Earth - talks and texts
Some images as the audience saw me at TED. A companion text for Aeon.
New book on fire
A concise, lavishly illustrated survey of fire on Earth.
A sideways observation
Sketch of Buzz Aldrin from watching his performance at MIT+150 on the future of exploration.
Writing manual
Art and craft of writing nonfiction books, especially history.
Centennial fire
Historical survey of the Great Fires, their context and consequences.
Geographic exploration
A group of books organized around the concept of three great ages of discovery
Fire on Earth
Includes fire histories for Earth, America, Canada, Australia, and Europe including Russia. Other books on fire management.
Grand Canyon Suite
The Grand Canyon provides a setting, at least in part, for several books.

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Fire: Nature and Culture

Fire - natural, cultural, telegenic. A look at a uniquely fire planet and its uniquely fire creature.

Fire offers a distilled but panoramic perspective on fire on Earth.

It opens with a look at a burned tree in the Valley of Mexico, which can be taken to symbolize the three great epochs of fire. It then proceeds through four themes. Part 1, Fire Wild, summarizes the physical chemistry, ecology, and evolutionary presence of fire over the past 400 million years. Part 2, Fire Tame, explores the relationship between fire and humanity, each of which has leveraged the power and presence of the other. Part 3, Fire Cultured, examines some themes in the culture of fire - its technology, its science, its art, and its ceremonies. Part 4, Fire Today, explains why fire looks the way it does in our times and how humanity's firepower is reshaping the planet in ways that warrants a new epoch, the Anthropocene. An epilogue returns to the question of the three fires and how they are apportioned into two great realms of combustion, one that burns surface biomass and the other, fossil biomass.

Illustrated with over a hundred figures, including works of art, half of them in color. A great introduction to the subject for the general reader.

A concise, lavishly illustrated survey of fire on Earth.