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Man vs. Nature in the Suburbs
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Rose O’Neill Literary House will host veteran journalist and author Jim Sterba on Friday, March 21, at 5 p.m. to talk about his recent book, Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds.
Sterba will discuss why so many Americans have become detached and disassociated from the natural world outside their suburban homes, and the effect it has had on their interactions with animals just beyond their backdoors. The event takes place at the Literary House, 407 Washington Avenue, and is free and open to the public. A book signing and reception will follow.
Shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Nature Wars tells the story of how the baby-boom generation neglected the wildlife around it, absorbed instead by the new and exciting possibilities of consumer goods and the newly discovered delights of television. NBC’s Tom Brokaw described it as a “smart, stylish and altogether provocative account of how we are confounded by that which we claim to hold so dear.”
Sterba aims to explain how what should have been a nature lover’s dream has become quite the opposite. “Today, it is quite likely that more people live in closer proximity to more wild animals, birds and trees in America than anywhere on the planet at any time in history,” he writes on his website (http://www.jimsterba.com). “This should be wonderful news—unless, perhaps, you are one of 4,000 drivers who will hit a deer today, your child’s soccer field is carpeted with goose droppings, coyotes are killing your pets, … beavers have flooded your driveway, or bears are looting your garbage cans. Nature Wars tells the story of how a wildlife comeback miracle became such a mess.”
Sterba has more than 40 years of experience in the journalism world, beginning with the now defunct Washington, D.C.-based Evening Star newspaper in 1967. His early years as a war correspondent took him to faraway posts including Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan and Beijing. He then went on to serve as a foreign correspondent and a national reporter for both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
This event is sponsored by the Washington College Center for Environment and Society. For more information, visit http://www.washcoll.edu/centers/ces.
– George Gabriel ’14