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Reclaiming the American West
Alan Berger

ISBN 9781568983622
Publication date 12/1/2002
11 x 9.5 inches (27.9 x 24.1 cm), Hardcover
224 pages, 179 color illustrations, 29 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 10; (476.0)

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There are over 200,000 abandoned mines covering hundreds of thousands of acres in the western United States. Seen from the air, they create surreal, haunting, yet somehow beautiful landscapes of mind-boggling scale. But these scarred landscapes are only temporary: by law, mining companies are required to reclaim them, and the process of renewal exposes many physical, philosophical, technological, environmental, political, regulatory, and ethical issues.

Using aerial photography, maps, designs, charts, and analyses, Alan Berger provides a colorful and insightful overview of the possibilities-and dangers-of converting these altered landscapes. Reclaiming the American West covers the historical background and policy, as well as representational, technical, and design challenges presented by working with these enormous toxic sites, many of which have been converted into landscapes of extraordinary beauty. In addition, the book gives us an unprecedented vantage point above the sublime landscapes.

Choice magazine writes: "This beautifully produced book is an exploration of landscapes of the American West that have been transformed by the work of humans during the extraction of minerals. . . . The whole book is itself an aesthetic experience, from the layout to the superb photographs of disturbed lands. Many unique illustrations hybridize information graphics with abstract-techno art. . . . The book, which is presented in the context of landscape architecture, is a unique and intriguing combination. For the reader with an interest in human and their impact on the land, it is an enjoyable read."


Alan Berger received his Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Colorado in Denver. He was the winner of the 2000 CELA international award of recognition for excellence in teaching and research.

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Editorial Reviews


AJ - Architects Journal:
"Berger neatly balances the philosophical and the practical, the aesthetic and the economic, in exploring the issues around reclamation, so his commentary has a relevance outside the US."

The Bloomsbury Review:
"Alan Berger, who teaches landscape architecture, provides appealing arguments for land reclamation as a potential tool to improve and correct the scars that mining has created. Along with the graphically striking photography are novel and intriguing graphs used to provide perspective and scale."

Choice:
"This beautifully produced book is an exploration of landscapes of the American West that have been transformed by the work of humans during the extraction of minerals. . . .The whole book is itself an aesthetic experience, from the layout to the superb photographs of disturbed lands.Many unique illustrations hybridize information graphics with abstract-techno art. . . . The book, which is presented in the context of landscape architecture, is a unique and intriguing combination. For the reader with an interest in humans and their impact on the land, it is an enjoyable read. Summing up: Recommended."

Reclaiming open-ended design, Planning Magazine:
"Landscape architect Alan Berger, now at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, has produced a sledgehammer of a book in Reclaiming the American West. His color aerial photographs of Western mines and landscapes reveal a country that Ansel Adams wouldn't recognize, with scenery and desecration side by side - or are they the same? Some images are almost abstract, others almost scenic, but all of them have an unnerving immediacy and impact, without any clear sense of advocacy."

Landscape Architecture:
"This publication is far more than simply a collection of absorbingpictures. . . Berger provides the reader with insight, background, and asense of planetary evolution/change."

The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News:
"There are more than 200,000 abandoned mines covering hundreds of acres in the western United States. The author explains how mining companies must reclaim them."

New Mexico Magazine:
"...looks at the altered landscapes created by these abandoned mines, not in condemnation, but as opportunities for reclamation and as how these altered places are valued."



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