An American Provence | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/american-provence[12/8/2015 11:07:00 AM] Home An American ProvenceAn American ProvenceSubmitted by nwharton on 4-23-2012 01:56 PMAuthor: Thomas P. Huber. Publishing: Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2011. 224 pages. Black-and-white photographs, color photographs, bibliography, maps. 6 x 9. $29.95 hardcover. Reviewer: Doug Fowler Thomas Hubers perspectives, rooted in geography and the sense of place, should awaken readers to a work that refines the definition of a nonfiction narrative. Merging the scientific mind of his profession with the aesthetics gleaned from the nuances of natural and agriculturally influenced landscaping, the author has soundly proven his abilities as a gifted writer. Huber shines in his ability to evaluate his perceptions of sensory qualities that are influenced by a variety of physiological and psychological factors and his ability to draw out and articulate those criteria that are often hidden in subtle cultural influences. During a rare and wonderful serendipitous moment of life, Huber, while visiting a bed and breakfast in southwest Colorado, was captivated by an insightful revelation. The North Fork River Valley of southwest Colorado was similar in characteristics to the Coulon River Valley in Provence, France, in place, land, villages, wine, food, and hiking. Throughout the two major ecosystems, they surprisingly can be a parallel comparison of nature. Hubers delight with this discovery of dance between the two conceptual places, (geographical spaces endowed with human meaning) borders upon the romantic. Huber shares: The two places, or different milieu, in this book are perhaps what could be called vernacular or common landscapes and at the same time unique and special landscapes, depending on the viewers mind-set. I have chosen to reflect on these two spots on Earth for idiosyncratic reasons. My professional and personal lives are intertwined in these places and their landscapes. These two seemingly disparate dots on the world map are similar in so many ways. Some of these ways are subtle, some not, but the personal and professional convergence drew me in with an intriguing intensity. It was almost as if I was urged on by some internal voice to look more intimately at these places . and dove in with head and heart to see where this would lead. I hope my passion for the land and the people will come through in the book. (8) Initially there may be some skepticism as to how these two regions may be similar when the Coulon River Valley has been inhabited for over two thousand years and the North Fork Valley for just over one hundred years by European immigrants and settlers. While the author relates the similarities of the two regions in environmental and geographic criteria, he also argues that the spirit of the inhabitants is intertwined within the physical aspects of the land itself. Huber himself says that when it comes down to the simple answer, it is the people and their attitude of stewardship toward the land and their milieu that make the two valleys EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanNow, thats wrong! Some of these Japanese are citizens of the United States. Colorado Gov. Ralph Carrs response to Executive Order 9066 forcing Japanese into internment camps during WWII.
An American Provence | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/american-provence[12/8/2015 11:07:00 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us kin. The people and their views of their milieu are the real essence of the places. They have a way of looking at themselves that has a connection to the place (87). This nurturing spirit is a manifestation of the land upon which they live and is called les vignes, a place on the Earth where nature and humankind have gotten together to create something special (91). All the factors that go into the production and skill of producing a wine is known as the terroir of the wine, and the terroir of Hubers compositional work is an excellent example of his ability to understand and synthesize the various liberal arts and sciences. An American Provence is representative of his gifts as a professor of geography and environmental studies at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs; it is more than the sum of its parts. In Hubers case, an exceptional work has been groomed through hard work and the ability to have new eyes to see parallels hitherto hidden. Reviewer Info: Douglas Fowler graduated from the Mackie School of Log Building and spent many years in log building, timber framing, structural carpentry, and custom/specialized woodworking for traditional and historical reproductions and restorations. He is a graduate student in public history at the University of Colorado Denver where he is also earning a certification in historic preservation. Add new comment