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

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
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's review
Feb 20, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010, from-library, history, non-fiction
Recommended to Julie by: I read another of his books
Recommended for: history buffs, my brother
Read from February 20 to March 16, 2010

Another fascinating book from Egan! He's very skilled at presenting two forms of history: the personal, individual perspective, and the overarching flow of history, including the viewpoints of the time period and also the interpretations we lay on it today.

The story of Gifford Pinchot, Teddy Roosevelt and the budding Forest Service was compelling in itself, but once the fire started, the book really took off. It was exciting and tragic all at once, and Egan told the story masterfully.

One thing that stuck out to me was that the types of screwing-over that happened to the forest rangers before, during and after the conflagration would probably not have passed public notice today. In the age of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., there certainly would have been a hue and cry raised by and on behalf of these people. How the government would have responded would be up for debate, but I think the plight of the forest ranger would have swayed the hearts and minds of the general population.

Looking forward to Egan's next book!

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02/20/2010 page 52
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