Featured works

Commentary
Commentary on NAS Workshop on Wildland Fire Research
Contribution to ASEH 4oth anniversary presidential slam.
Contemporary American fire
A multi-work survey by grand narrative and regional reconnaissances.
Popular survey of fire
Illustrated digest of why fire looks the way it does today and how to think about it.
Updated textbook
Continuing evolution of textbooks on wildland and landscape fire.
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.

Quick Links

Voice and Vision: A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Nonfiction

It has become commonplace these days to speak of unpacking texts. This is a book about packing that prose in the first place.

I'm speaking of a prose that often gets left behind. Fiction has guidebooks galore; journalism has shelves stocked with manuals; and certain hybrids such as creative nonfiction or New Journalism have evolved standards, aesthetics, and justifications for how to transfer the dominant modes of fiction to topics in nonfiction. But history and other serious nonfiction have no such guides. Nonfiction - apart from memoir - is not taught in writing workshops or MFA programs, and its standards and aesthetics are not discussed on freelancer listserves. Neither is it taught as part of professional training by academic guilds. While scholarly historians are eager to discuss historiography, they ignore the craft that can turn their theses and narratives into literature.

This curious omission places beyond the pale of taught writing whole realms of serious nonfiction that do not rely on reportage or segue into memoir. It dismisses scholarship based on archives and printed literature. It ignores writers who do not make themselves the subject, overt or implied, of their work. It relegates texts in the field of history, in particular, to h status of unlettered historiography or unanchored prose. They exist only as conveyers of theses and data or as naive exposition.

This book is for those who want to understand the ways in which literary considerations can enhance the writing of serious nonfiction. In their search for new texts to deconstruct, literary theorists have in recent years seized on nonfiction to demonstrate literature's critical primacy over all kinds of texts. It's time for historians, especially, to reply. History is scholarship. It is also art, and it is literature. It has no need to emulate fiction, morph into memoir, or become self-referential. But those who write it do need to be conscious of their craft. And what it is true for history is true for all serious nonfiction. the issue is not whether the writing is popular, but whether it is good, which is to say, whether it does what it intends. Here are my thoughts on how to make this happen.

- from "Packing Prose," pp. 1-2
The art and craft of writing nonfiction, especially history.