A Forest Journey: The Role of Trees in the Fate of Civilization

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by John Perin, 2023. Hardcover, 520 pages.

A Foundational Conservation Story Revived

Trees have been the principal fuel and building material of every society over the millennia, from the time hunters and gatherers first settled until the middle of the nineteenth century. Without vast supplies of wood from forests, the great civilizations of the world would have never emerged. Wood’s abundance or scarcity greatly shaped the culture, demographics, economies, internal and external politics, and technology of successive societies over the millennia.

Originally published in 1986 and updated in 2005, A Forest Journey’s comprehensive coverage of the major role forests have played in human life—told with grace, fluency, imagination, and humor—gained it recognition as a Harvard Classic in Science and World History and as one of Harvard’s “One Hundred Great Books.”

This is a foundational conservation story that should not be lost in the archives. This updated and expanded edition, published by Patagonia, emphasizes the importance of forests in the fight against climate chaos and the urgency to protect what remains of the great trees and forests of the world.