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American Wilderness: A New History
This collected volume of original essays proposes to address the state of scholarship on the political, cultural, and intellectual history of Americans responses to wilderness from first contact to the present. While not bringing a synthetic narrative to wilderness, the volume will gather competing interpretations of wilderness in historical context.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published March 1st 2004)
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An expansive look at the American construction of wilderness from the arrival of the Europeans to the early 20th century. I loved the in-depth chapter on the Hudson River School paintings; the influences of Thoreau, Leopold, Muir and Pinchot; the discussion between preservation versus conservation, and restorative ecology versus conservative ecology; as well as, the impact of roadways on nature. Oh, and let's not forget the ecological destruction brought on by American farmers.
I would recommend this book as an introduction to the history of the wilderness idea in the United States. In easily consumed chapters this book gives a broad overview of topics that are delved into more deeply in other works. The bibliography in the back is useful for discovering more reading to deepen an understanding of the wilderness ideas.
Associate Professor of History, Salisbury UniversityMore about Michael L. Lewis...