Books: Notable

THE WOOING OF EARTH by René Dubos Scribners; 183 pages; $8.95

Environmentalists view the world's wilderness areas as sacrosanct places that must be left untouched. Their concern strikes Essayist and Microbiologist Rene Dubos as ironic. Dubos, who is perhaps known best for his work in using microbes to produce disease-fighting drugs, points out that many of the areas weekend backpackers and others consider so beautiful resulted from degradation of the environment. The sere hills of Greece were produced by deforestation and erosion; the Downs of England owe their lushness to the introduction of sheep grazing; the orchards and fields of...

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