Selected Books and Essays

Fire on Earth - talks and texts
Some images as the audience saw me at TED. A companion text for Aeon.
Words on fire
On-going comments on the American fire scene
New book on fire
A concise, lavishly illustrated survey of fire on Earth.
New essay
Reinstating Pragmatism into history and philosophy; co-authored with Ben Minteer.
Recent book
A sideways observation
Sketch of Buzz Aldrin from watching his performance at MIT+150 on the future of exploration.
A remembrance
I knew Bill Goetzmann in his prime in his preferred habitats. He taught us how to turn our experiences into ideas.
Now in paperback
A narrative of the Voyager mission within the larger context of geographic exploration by Western civilization.
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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Welcome to my author page

Consuming fire - I've lots of occasions recently to think of that phrase.

Begin with my recent TED Talk - Fire, a biography. When TED posts it, I'll provide a link.

At the TED Conference, 2015

Then the books, which seem to be propagating across the landscape:
After Preservation
, which I helped edit and to which I contributed an essay, "Green Fire Meets Red Fire"; Fire: Nature and Culture; Fire on Earth: An Introduction; the coming series of books on fire in contemporary America; even The Last Lost World - after banking the coals for a few years, fire has returned. I expect it to continue for several years more.

The big story is a survey of the American fire scene since 1960. Briefly, the project envisions two complementary products. Between Two Fires will craft a grand narrative of America's great cultural revolution on fire, while To the Last Smoke will provide color commentary through suites of essays on various themes and regional reconnaissances. After years of studying fire around the world, I'm having to relearn the details of my own country. For particulars, see the project website. Regional suites to date include Florida, California, the Northern Rockies, Great Plains, and the Southwest with another three surveys planned. The University of Arizona Press will publish them all, beginning with Between Two Fires in October, 2015.

Somehow I doubt, though, that I'll ever be able to declare this particular fire out.

Other news - the graduate Certificate in Nonfiction Writing and Publishing that I've been pushing at ASU went live last August. Students are enrolling. The Piper Center for Creative Writing has signed on to assist. While I teach courses on Fire and on Exploration, my graduate teaching is almost wholly devoted to teaching writing.


Forthcoming in October 2015.

A salon of ideas about the future of nature protection in America

A condensed survey of fire in Earthly nature and in human culture, lavishly illustrated with photos and art. For more information, click here .

Continental ice, megafauna, erectines and Neanderthals, creation stories, big ideas - what's not to like?


The Grand Tour, and beyond - now in paperback