In The Nature-Study Idea, Liberty Hyde Bailey articulated the essence of a social movement, led by ordinary public-school teachers, that lifted education out of the classroom and placed it into firsthand contact with the natural world. The aim was simple but revolutionary: sympathy with nature to increase the joy of living and foster stewardship of the earth.
With this definitive edition, John Linstrom reintroduces The Nature-Study Idea as an environmental classic for our time. It provides historical context through a wealth of related writings, and introductory essays relate Bailey's vision to current work in education and the intersection of climate change and culture. In this period of planetary turmoil, Bailey's ambition to cultivate wonder (in adults as well as children) and lead readers back into the natural world is more important than ever.
Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858–1954) was Dean of the College of Agriculture at Cornell University and Chair of the Commission on Country Life under President Theodore Roosevelt. A pioneer in modern horticulture and environmental philosophy, he was the author of more than seventy books.
John Linstrom is Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Inequality at the Climate Museum. He coedited The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener's Companion.