bookinglibrarian's Reviews > Fire at Eden's Gate: Tom McCall and the Oregon Story

Fire at Eden's Gate by Brent Walth
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U 50x66
's review
Mar 18, 2009

it was amazing
Read in March, 2009

This is a fascinating book for wedgie Oregonians like myself who came of age during the Tom McCall era. I was amazed by how much I didn't know was happening in Oregon & the US during the early 1970's and how McCall and Oregon were in the vanguard of many environmental issues--public beach protection, the bottle bill, tough pollution standards for industry, land use laws to contain sprawl, etc. McCall was a maverick in the true sense of the word--an odd Republican who was in the wrong party, fighting and sometimes succumbing to the establishment and his own personal demons to protect the environment of Oregonians.

Brent Walth, (also a wedgie, U of O graduate and Oregonian newspaper journalist), has done extensive research into a variety of issues and history, both regional and national, and compiled them into a readable account of Tom McCall's life and times. Ultimately, it's a sad story--both for McCall and for Oregon as his progressive policies were blamed for Oregon's economic decline of the late 70s/early 80s--some were overturned, others never able to be adopted by other states. I look back on seeing McCall's body lying in state in the rotunda of the Oregon state capitol in 1983 as the end of an era.
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