For the fifth edition, Nash has written a new preface and epilogue that brings Wilderness and the American Mind into dialogue with contemporary debates about wilderness. Char Miller’s foreword provides a twenty-first-century perspective on how the environmental movement has changed, including the ways in which contemporary scholars are reimagining the dynamic relationship between the natural world and the built environment./div
The book’s organization follows a chronological approach, but each part begins with a feature chapter centered around a particular theme of that period. By focusing on individuals or groups affecting a given period, the authors bring California history to life and encourage deeper thought about the issues facing Californians of the time.
Hartzog led the largest expansion of the National Park System in history and developed social programs that gave the Service new complexion. During his nine-year tenure, the system grew by seventy-two units totaling 2.7 million acres including not just national parks, but historical and archaeological monuments and sites, recreation areas, seashores, riverways, memorials, and cultural units celebrating minority experiences in America. In addition, Hartzog sought to make national parks relevant and responsive to the nation’s changing needs.
Based on his unprecedented and extensive research into the company's historical archives, Richard Orsi finds that, contrary to conventional understanding, the Southern Pacific Company identified its corporate well-being with population growth and social and economic development in the railroad's hinterland. As he traces the complex and shifting intersections between corporate and public interest, Orsi documents the railroad's little-known promotion of land distribution, small-scale farming, scientific agriculture, and less wasteful environmental practices and policies—including water conservation and wilderness and recreational parklands preservation.
Meticulously researched, lucidly written, and judiciously balanced, Sunset Limited opens a new window onto the American West in a crucial phase of its development and will forever change our perceptions of one of the largest and most important western corporations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Park Builders profiles the men who provided the parks, and the times that shaped them. From its beginnings as part of the progressive crusades to its evolution into an expected function of state government, the state parks movement in the Northwest is a window onto the political and social developments of the twentieth century. The states of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon were generally in the mainstream of the parks movement, but each of their histories is unique. Taken together, they help to define the nature and limitations of regionalism in the Northwest.
Especially in the early years, the story of state parks was largely the story of individuals. Drawing extensively from interviews and personal papers, Thomas Cox creates memorable pictures of parks activists in each state. Robert Moran, creator of the battleship, Nebraska, spent a decade lobbying the state of Washington to accept his magnificent acreage on Orcas Island. Sam Boardman went from a road crew to the head of Oregon�s park system, and took up his mission with a zeal that was literally religious: �To me a park is a pulpit,� he wrote. �The more you keep it as He made it, the closer you are to Him.� In Idaho, Senator Weldon Heyburn, no proponent of state expenditures, set out to create a national park, and ended up with a premier state park, named for him.
State parks serve more people at far less expense than do those in the National Park System. Since their fates are determined largely at the state level, they are an ideal venue for the study of grassroots activism and regional trends. This book is the first to collect these themes into a coherent whole. It will serve as a model for further regional studies of its kind.
Known for its unusual and dramatic rock formations, breathtaking vistas, and treasure trove of waterfalls, Yosemite receives nearly four million visitors a year. Scanning over these crowds, Ogden soon leaves them to walk through Yosemite’s history, back to its original name, “Ahwahnee”—given by its Miwok inhabitants—and the tragic irony behind what we call it now, which early Anglo-American visitors mistook as the Miwok appellation, but which some scholars now suggest in fact means “there are killers among them.” Visiting with famed stewards such as John Muir, and lesser-known ones such as James Mason Hutchings and Galen Rowell, she recounts the valley’s discovery by westerners, exploration, exploitation, and its eventual preservation as one of the first National Parks. Ogden also looks at the many artworks it has inspired and the larger hold it has had on the imagination and our dreams of the unspoiled American west.
Rich in detail and beautifully illustrated with everything from landscape photography to paintings inspired by its beauties, this book is a must read for anyone who has ever stepped into this incomparable valley—or anyone who has wanted to.
•* Celebrates the dedicated men and women of our National Park Service (NPS) who have safeguarded the nation’s natural legacy for 100 years
•* 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service
•* 125 images including many archival photos
Anyone who has stood beneath a redwood, neck craned to see its top rising far above; or who has heard ghostly whispers of residents long-past among the burnt-red cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde; or who has climbed the stairs to gaze out from the Statue of Liberty’s crown, would agree that our National Park system is a source of pride and wonder.
But 100 years ago, creating a bureau to administer America’s vast and diverse parks was a concept requiring great debate and persuasion. The story of the National Park Service is the story of people who fought for the protection of the places that have helped to define our national identity, those places we now hold dear—from the blue hazy mist that hangs over Great Smokey Mountains National Park to the spouting geysers of Yellowstone to the thick, steamy waterways of the Everglades. The NPS founders were the architects of our family vacations, the inventors of icons with worldwide appeal. They battled “progress,” which often masked greed and ignorance, and their story continues with those who molded and grew the NPS through a flu pandemic, the Great Depression, World Wars, and beyond.
Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears is the engaging and accessible story of the NPS that brings to life its history and characters. The result of extensive research, dozens of interviews with Park Service employees, and the author’s own experiences at park units she visited all over the country, it’s a highly readable history that connects the dots of past to present and will remind readers of the vast array of public assets administered by the NPS—resources which offer something for everyone and also need every citizen’s support.
With a lively style and striking illustrations, Louter traces the history of Washington State�s national parks -- Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades -- to illustrate shifting ideas of wilderness as scenic, as roadless, and as ecological reserve. He reminds us that we cannot understand national parks without recognizing that cars have been central to how people experience and interpret their meaning, and especially how they perceive them as wild places.
Windshield Wilderness explores what few histories of national parks address: what it means to view parks from the road and through a windshield. Building upon recent interpretations of wilderness as a cultural construct rather than as a pure state of nature, the story of autos in parks presents the preservation of wilderness as a dynamic and nuanced process.Windshield Wilderness illuminates the difficulty of separating human-modified landscapes from natural ones, encouraging us to recognize our connections with nature in national parks.
From the late nineteenth century to the present, park service representatives and other officials have created policies, built roads and hotels, and regulated public use of and access to Mount Rainier. Conflicting interests have shaped the decision-making process and characterized human interaction with the park. The Rainier National Park Company promoted Paradise Inn as a destination resort for East Coast tourists; Cooperative Campers of the Pacific Northwest developed backcountry camps for working-class recreationists; Asahel Curtis of the Good Roads Association wanted a road encircling the mountain; The Mountaineers promoted free public campgrounds and a roadless preserve; others focused on managing and protecting the upper mountain. The National Park Service mediated among the various parties while developing their own master plan for the park.
In an engaging and accessible style, historian Theodore Catton tells the story of Mount Rainier, examining the controversies and compromises that have shaped one of America's most beautiful and beloved parks. National Park, City Playground reminds us that the way we manage our wilderness areas is a vital concern not only for the National Park Service, but for all citizens.
Although the Park Service recently has placed some emphasis on protecting samples of North America’s ecosystems, the earliest national parks were viewed as natural museums—monuments to national grandeur that would edify visitors. Not only were these early parks to preserve monumental and unique natural attractions, but they also had to be of no use to mining, lumbering, agriculture, and other “productive” industries. Natural Museums examines the notions of park monumentalism, “worthlessness,” and national significance, as well as the parks’ roles as wilderness preserves and recreational centers.
Drawing on this fascinating body of material, Sacred Places examines the vital role which tourism played in fulfilling the cultural needs of nineteenth-century Americans. America was a new country in search of a national identity. Educated Americans desperately wished to meet European standards of culture and, at the same time, to develop a distinctly American literature and art. Tourism offered a means of defining America as a place and taking pride in the special features of its landscape. The country's magnificent natural wonders were a substitute for the cathedrals and monuments, the sense of history that Europe had built over the centuries. Moreover, Sears argues, tourist attractions like Mammoth Cave, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Yosemite, and Yellowstone functioned as sacred places for a nation with a diversity of religious sects and without ancient religious and national shrines. For nineteenth-century Americans, whose vision was shaped by the aesthetics of the sublime and the picturesque and by the popular nineteenth-century Romantic view of nature as temple, such places fulfilled their urgent need for cultural monuments and for places to visit which transcended ordinary reality.
But these nineteenth-century tourist attractions were also arenas of consumption. Niagara Falls was the most sublime of God's creations, a sacred place, which, like Mount Auburn Cemetery, was supposed to have a profound moral effect on the spectator. But it was also an emporium of culture where the tourist shopped for Niagara's wonders and for little replicas of the Falls in the form of souvenirs. In Sacred Places, Sears describes how this strange, sometimes amusing, juxtaposition of the mythic and the trivial, the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the commercial remained a significant feature of American tourist attractions even after efforts were made at Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Niagara Falls to curb commercial and industrial intrusions.
Sears also explores how the nineteenth-century idealization of home stimulated the tourists' response to such places as the Willey House in the White Mountains, the rural cemeteries, and even the newly established asylums for the deaf, dumb, blind, and insane. And, in an intriguing account of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, he examines the reasons why an important nineteenth-century anthracite transportation center was also a major tourist attraction.
Most of the attractions discussed in this book are still visited by millions of Americans. By illuminating their cultural meaning, Sacred Places prompts us to reflect on our own motivations and responses as tourists and reveals why tourism was and still is such an important part of American life.
Scenes such as this will probably never be repeated in Yosemite or any other national park, yet the urgent problem remains of balancing the public's desire to visit the parks with the parks' need to be protected from too many people and cars and too much development. In this book, longtime park visitor and professional geographer Bob O'Brien explores the National Park Service's attempt to achieve "sustainability"—a balance that allows as many people as possible to visit a park that is kept in as natural a state as possible.
O'Brien details methods the NPS has used to walk the line between those who would preserve vast tracts of land for "no use" and those who would tap the Yellowstone geysers to generate electricity. His case studies of six western "crown jewel" parks show how rangers and other NPS employees are coping with issues that impact these cherished public landscapes, including visitation, development, and recreational use.
National Parks – ‘America’s Best Idea’ – were from the first seen as sacred sites embodying the God-given specialness of American people and American land, and from the first they were also marked as tourist attractions. The inherent tensions between these two realities ensured the parks would be stages where the country’s conflicting values would be performed and contested. As pilgrimage sites embody the values and beliefs of those who are drawn to them, so Americans could travel to these sacred places to honor, experience, and be restored by the powers that had created the American land and the American enterprise.
This book explores the importance of the discourse of nature in American culture, arguing that the attributes and symbolic power that had first been associated with the ‘new world’ and then the ‘frontier’ were embodied in the National Parks. Author Ross-Bryant focuses on National Parks as pilgrimage sites around which a discourse of nature developed and argues the centrality of religion in understanding the dynamics of both the language and the ritual manifestations related to National Parks. Beyond the specific contribution to a richer analysis of the National Parks and their role in understanding nature and religion in the U.S., this volume contributes to the emerging field of ‘religion and the environment,’ larger issues in the study of religion (e.g. cultural events and the spatial element in meaning-making), and the study of non-institutional religion.