Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960” as Want to Read:
The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

Hardcover, 576 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Harper Torch (first published January 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Quiet World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Quiet World

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 411)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
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.
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;
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.
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.
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.
I truly enjoyed The Quiet World. Detailed stories about the great conservationists of our recent past.
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.
The history of conservation in America explained.
Maureen Flatley
Astonishing read.....highly, highly recommend.
Amber marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2015
Dawn marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2015
Paula King
Paula King is currently reading it
Jan 16, 2015
Toni marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2015
Kevin marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2015
Nancy marked it as to-read
Jan 09, 2015
Erin Bergen
Erin Bergen marked it as to-read
Jan 09, 2015
Kirsten marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2015
Paige marked it as to-read
Dec 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth
  • American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
  • The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples
  • The Singing Wilderness
  • Mr. Hornaday's War: How a Peculiar Victorian Zookeeper Waged a Lonely Crusade for Wildlife That Changed the World
  • Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson
  • Shell Games: Rogues, Smugglers, and the Hunt for Nature's Bounty
  • A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir
  • Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures
  • Winter Count
  • Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery
  • Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon
  • Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World
  • American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation
  • Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind
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

Share This Book