Tim Niland's Reviews > The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
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Sep 25, 09

bookshelves: 2009-reads

With wildfires again in the news and raging on the west coast, this book becomes all the more timely. Telling the story of the largest forest fire ever to strike the United States, Egan looks that the ecological, political and social implications of wildfires and forest fires and the response of humans to nature's fury. At the same time, Egan profiles the uniquely American icon Theodore Roosevelt, a man of deep contradictions, yet stern beliefs in both nature and man's place within it. There is an interesting dualism between the fight that TR had to create the US Forest Service amidst the stern opposition of business and industry and today's battle between Barak Obama and the insurance interests to provide national health care. Egan writes in a thoughtful and lucid manner about both the battle on the front lines of the great fire of 1910 and the great political battles being fought in Washington. Fans of American history will find this book both interesting and illuminating.
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