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The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Winner of the Western History Association's 2009 Hal K. Rothman Award

Finalist in the Western Writers of America Spur Award for the Western Nonfiction Contemporary category (2008).

The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the world's most beautiful cities. Despite a population of 7 million people, it is more greensward than asphalt jungle, more open space than hardscape. A vast
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by University of Washington Press
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John C. Baker
Apr 13, 2012 John C. Baker rated it it was ok
There is sometimes a perception that two things must be polar opposites: the poor preservationist and the well-off landowner; the city and the country; the rural and the urban. Richard Walker’s The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area (University of Washington Press, 2007), however, makes it a point to demonstrate that the presence of one of the above is not mutually exclusive to the other. In fact, Walker notes, the preservation of so much green space in the Bay Area ...more
Carl R.
May 07, 2012 Carl R. rated it really liked it
This is history with a purpose and point of view. Walker is pro-environment, anti-expansion to a fault, and if you remain a bit detached, The Country In the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area is a fascinating and instructive guide to how we treat our space. It’s well known, I think, that the pollution of the bay and its surrounding waters began with the gold rush and the use of mercury, the remains of which still litter the bottom of the bay and infect fish and wildlife. It’s also ...more
Jan 10, 2008 Ken-ichi rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Tammy
This is pretty much an issue-by-issue history of environmentalism in the Bay Area, starting with John Muir and Olmsted. If you're like me and you find the amazing abundance of nearby open space one of the many blessings of living here, this is an interesting read. Pretty much every park, every hillside, every tree not growing in someone's yard that you enjoy around here exists because someone decided it should. And not only that, but they decided it should be open to everyone, which is a pretty ...more
This is a political history of the 'green' movement ( in a very broad definition). Even if you are a strong green advocate, you will probably find the writing annoying. I do like it when authors openly declare their beliefs, but I don't like preaching. I especially don't like it when they assume that not only are they right, everyone should agree with them.

There are several places where environmentalists/greens rationally disagree. Also as knowledge has increased, the ideas of what is good or b
Jun 10, 2007 Erica rated it liked it
This book could have been so good. The subject matter, the chapter headings ("The Upper West Side" for peninsula open space efforts), the photo insets pointed toward a very important, fascinating book on the social history of Bay Area open space and environmental movements. However, in the end, it read like yet another bland environmental history book, with a few exceptions. It's too bad, because it's clear that Watkins could have written something much more interesting. The final chapters on in ...more
Fresno Bob
Dec 15, 2013 Fresno Bob rated it it was amazing
excellent account of the changes in the bay area, and the power that enviromental groups like "Save the Bay" had on keeping the Bay Area from turning into Los Angeles. If you grew up here, you should read this book
Whitney Berry
Mar 30, 2008 Whitney Berry rated it liked it
Very interesting read - recommended for those interested in environmental activism, the SF Bay Area, and inspiring stories of positive social change.
Dec 25, 2007 Aaronwilcher marked it as to-read
Breaks new ground in studies of the Bay Area. Walker is at Cal Geography.
Mar 18, 2009 Lopa rated it really liked it
Great history of the Bay's Are's environmental politics.
Mar 20, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
Written by one of my advisors :)
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