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Robert Adams: Turning Back

Two hundred years ago, Lewis and Clark reported finding in the American Northwest a vast forest of ancient evergreens. In Turning Back, Robert Adams looks again at the region’s trees, discovering evidence both of America’s failure and of a continuing promise. “Going east,” Adams suggests, “was more difficult than going west.” Turning Back documents two kinds of predictive evidence. On the one hand Adams observes the results of greed so unrestrained that they are indistinguishable from those of nihilism. On the other we see what still lives, whether by our design or neglect, or providence. From coastal landscapes populated with tourists to timber clear-cutting and small family farms in Oregon, Turning Back reflects what was lost, what is retained, and what we value as a people with a common history.