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The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960
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The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  18 reviews

A riveting history of America's most beautiful natural resources, The Quiet World documents the heroic fight waged by the U.S. federal government from 1879 to 1960 to save wild Alaska—Mount McKinley, the Tongass and Chugach national forests, Gates of the Arctic, Glacier Bay, Lake Clark, and the Coastal Plain of the Beaufort Sea, among other treasured landscapes—from the e

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Hardcover, 576 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Harper Torch (first published January 1st 2011)
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Todd Martin
The Quiet World examines the history of environmental protection in Alaska between 1879 and 1960 (or from the early travels of John Muir through the creation of ANWR) including profiles of prominent figures in the conservation movement including John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, Rockwell Kent, Bob Marshall, Aldo Leopold, Harold Ickes, William O. Douglas, Ansel Adams, Rachel Carson and others. Although Alaska is the focus, the tale encompasses the birth and growth of the conservatio ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Douglas Brinkley has called his planned Wilderness Cycle his “lifework.” In general, critics seemed to respect the scope of what Brinkley is trying to do, but they were more likely to praise The Quiet World as an important work than one that deeply moved them. A few critics faulted the work for spending too much time on the biographies of various environmental figures and not enough time on the land itself. A couple also thought that the work, despite its lush prose, might be too academic for th ...more
Sarah
Brinkley's writing style is a bit odd. Sometimes chatty, sometimes serious, sometimes reaching a height of liberal progressive scolding (along the lines of...too bad you died of shellfish poisoning, Warren G. Harding. A shame you didn't see fit to regulate the industry, huh? Oh wait, you're dead; you can't hear me.)
Footnotes are often weird non-sequiturs, or self-indulgent asides. He will then refer to the text of said footnotes in the main text, which is off-puttingly presumptuous since the nat
...more
Mark
As with The Wilderness Warrior, Brinkley does not disappoint in his recounting of the history of the US preservation movement's successes in Alaska. The Quiet World has a scope and sweep that live up to its subject, and Brinkley effectively shares both the stories of those who have helped keep Alaska wild and the sense of wonder the land inspires. His own travels in the state shine through in his writing; though he doesn't discuss them directly except once in the acknowledgments, if I remember c ...more
David R.
A decent narrative of the path from territorial acquisition to establishment of ANWR in the waning hours of the Eisenhower Administration, technically speaking. But it is wanting. Brinkley resorts to the most ridiculous hyperbole and white-hat-black-hat characterizations. And I found the cast of major characters to be distasteful, populated by the likes of John Muir (racist), Theodore Roosevelt (big game hunter), wealthy Ivy League elistists like Gifford Pinchot and Howard Zahniser, and others, ...more
Robert Cheetham
The narrative is fairly choppy, but it's a great overview of the interaction between Alaska's wilderness and US politics from the mid-1800's to the early 20th century. While reading this, I found myself reflecting on the degree to which we are still recapitulating fundamental arguments in the 21st century (drill, baby, drill vs. protect the wilderness) that have been part of our political narrative since Theodore Roosevelt.
Brian Lee
#44 THE QUIET WORLD: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom by Douglas Brinkley. Durfee's top 50 non-fiction books countdown. A detailed history of our greatest, grandest state. THE QUIET WORLD is populated with such characters as John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Rockwell Kent, Dwight D Eisenhower, and Ansel Adams
Carla
I really enjoyed reading this a little at a time over lunch, it was the perfect book to read just before going to Alaska. I'm sure the present of TR helped, as well as the timely subject matter, but I found it to be a well considered and interesting presentation of the struggle to save wild Alaska.
Victoria
189 pages under belt, this is a winner, I WILL TRAVEL this place I trust
FAB Book, for the last 7 years I have wanted to go there

It is on my list to do hopefully 2013\

Plus I ordered an additional book:"My Wilderness"
William O. Douglas;
Mary
Not the best written book (he could have used a better editor) but it was an interesting history of the conservation movement in the U.S. with emphasis on Alaska. Makes me want to travel in Alaska again.
Peter
Not only a great history of conservation in Alaska, but also a good recounting of conservation nationwide. Great profile of important people in the movement along the way.
Dayna
Apr 19, 2011 Dayna marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I don't have time to read this now, so am going to put it aside and come back to it later. I did find the going choppy to start, though.
Judy
I truly enjoyed The Quiet World. Detailed stories about the great conservationists of our recent past.
Lynne
Dry but informative. I enjoyed the section about William O. Douglas's role in protecting the environment.
Jeff Dilbert
Loved it! Extremely comprehensive history, amazing details.
Dariggle
The history of conservation in America explained.
Maureen Flatley
Astonishing read.....highly, highly recommend.
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Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him “America’s new past master.” His most recent books are The Quiet World, The Wilderness Warrior, and The Great Deluge. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.
More about Douglas G. Brinkley...
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America Cronkite The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey

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