PositiveOutsideIf it weren’t 432 pages long—and I’m glad it is—it might someday find a place in the back pockets of militant environmentalists as they chain themselves to bulldozers, road graders, and mining machines. Part reportage, part history, part backcountry travelogue, the book is full of righteous anger and reverence for wild spaces. It is a polemic meant to incite ... Ketcham writes about these landscapes with grace and deep attention ... filled with dense references to federal agencies and environmental policy, but Ketcham skillfully deploys a parade of colorful characters to keep the narrative moving through history, analysis, and the occasional rant ... My least favorite thing about This Land is Ketcham’s occasional tendency to follow in Edward Abbey’s footsteps and subject us to a bit of macho bravado ... I also wish This Land had wrestled more intently with the fact that much of America’s public domain is derived from the violent and illegal theft of indigenous lands ... All in all, though, Ketcham has done a great service for the environmental movement. He bears witness to the terrible scars that disfigure the public lands, he illustrates the ecological and social importance of such lands, and he proposes radical changes.