Crazy Mountains

Learning from Wilderness to Weigh Technology

By David Strong

Subjects: Environmental Theory
Series: SUNY series in Environmental Public Policy
Paperback : 9780791426524, 264 pages, October 1995
Hardcover : 9780791426517, 264 pages, November 1995

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Part I: The Spell of Technology

1.   The Crazy Mountains

2.   The Danger to the Crazy Mountains

3.   The Environmentalist's Reply

4.   The Other Story

5.   The Technological Subversion of Environmental Ethics

6.   Granting the Thing its Eloquence
Part II:  Learning from Wilderness

7.   To Listen Again

8.   To Consider Things Again

9.   To Experience Things Again

10.   To Experience Wilderness

11.   To Speak Again

12.   To Build Again



In the tradition of Walden and A River Runs Through It, this is a vivid account of the Crazy Mountains in Montana, urging us to awaken from the spell of technology.


Reality is slipping away, writes David Strong in Crazy Mountains, and is being eroded by a glut of technological devices and commodities. But all is not lost if we learn to care for the things at the center of the good life.

Written in the tradition of Walden and A River Runs Through It with philosophical clarity and literary power, this book opens with a vivid account of the Crazy Mountains of Montana, an island of high, craggy peaks, forest, meadows, and rushing streams, surrounded by the sweep of the high plains. A newly-bulldozed road and a planned timber sale jeopardize the wild character of the range and trigger the wide-ranging reflections of this remarkable book.

Technology is transforming Earth in increasingly extensive ways, and Strong urges us to awaken from the spell of technology—from the unexamined belief that its devices and commodities make our lives good. He warns that even an environmental ethic can be subverted by the glamorous pull of the consumer culture. From wilderness we learn what things are real and how this reality can re-order our lives, our communities, and our nation. We learn another way to be.

This is a one-of-a-kind book. It soars gracefully, yet presents a comprehensive vision of the challenge wilderness offers to our contemporary culture.

David Strong is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rocky Mountain College.