Paul Bogard, author of the new book, “The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light,” spent his childhood summers in a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota, where shooting stars cut across swaths of countless stars, the Milky Way reflected off the lake, and the woods were so dark he couldn’t see his hands in front of his face. In our modern world of nights as bright as day, most of us no longer experience true darkness. Eight out of ten Americans born today won’t ever live where they can see the Milky Way.
Bogard believes that a starry night is one of nature's most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans' eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness. In “The End of Night,” Paul Bogard seeks to restore our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art.
The book has been described as a deeply panoramic tour of the night, from its brightest spots to the darkest skies we have left. From Las Vegas' Luxor Beam--the brightest single spot on the planet--to nights so starlit the sky looks like snow, Bogard blends personal narrative, natural history, science, and history to shed light on the importance of darkness--what we've lost, what we still have, and what we might regain--and the simple ways we can reduce the brightness of our nights tonight. Paul Bogard teaches creative nonfiction at James Madison University. He is the editor of the anthology “Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark.”