Read e-book online A word for nature: four pioneering environmental advocates, PDF

By Robert L. Dorman

ISBN-10: 0807823961

ISBN-13: 9780807823965

The careers and concepts of 4 figures of enormous value within the heritage of yank conservation—George Perkins Marsh, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and John Wesley Powell—are explored in A observe for Nature. Robert Dorman bargains energetic pix of every of those early environmental advocates, who witnessed firsthand the influence of monetary growth and business revolution on fragile landscapes from the forests of latest England to the mountains of the West. by way of analyzing the nineteenth-century international within which the 4 males lived—its society, economic climate, politics, and culture—Dorman sheds mild at the roots of yank environmentalism. He offers an summary of the early many years of either source conservation and barren region upkeep, discussing how Marsh, Thoreau, Muir, and Powell helped outline the problems that started altering the nation's attitudes towards its surroundings via the early 20th century. Dorman's readings of works together with Marsh's guy and Nature, Thoreau's The Maine Woods, Muir's The Mountains of California, and Powell's record at the Lands of the Arid sector demonstrate their authors' effect on environmental suggestion and politics even as much as the current day.

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First and foremost, he inherited from his father's conservative Federalism two ten- Page 13 dencies: an abiding concern for social stability, and an unwavering belief in leadership by the enlightened, educated few. Charles Marsh had been of an older, classical school of political thought that enshrined in timeless principle the rule of wise disinterested elites as the only means to social harmony, because such a rule was reflective of the divinely ordained, hierarchical nature of society itself.

Every foreign heresy or folly in religion and in government finds a congenial soil in the corrupted mass of outlandish renegades and adventurers, and denaturalized Americans, that composes so large a proportion of our largest towns," Marsh once noted of the electoral strongholds of the Democrats. He and many other New England Whigs also did not believe that progress might stem from mere frontier expansion, which in their opinion spread the wasteful habits of poor subsistence farmers, incited the greed of imperialists and speculators, and dissipated the nation's energies.

Are the noblest branch of the Caucasian race. We are their children. " 25 If the racial theme in Goths was tenuous at best, it at least shows Marsh thinking on a broadly comparative and sweeping historical scale, a scale he would widen much further in Man and Nature, as the more generic title itself suggests. For all of its flaws, The Goths in New-England may be seen as a primitive species of universal history, an interpretive approach that effaces national distinctions in pursuit of more encompassing synthetic themes, usually with regard to the countries of the Western world.

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A word for nature: four pioneering environmental advocates, 1845-1913 by Robert L. Dorman


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