By Robert L. Dorman
The careers and concepts of 4 figures of huge significance within the heritage of yank conservation—George Perkins Marsh, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and John Wesley Powell—are explored in A note for Nature. Robert Dorman bargains full of life pix of every of those early environmental advocates, who witnessed firsthand the impression of monetary enlargement and business revolution on fragile landscapes from the forests of recent England to the mountains of the West. through analyzing the nineteenth-century global within which the 4 males lived—its society, financial system, politics, and culture—Dorman sheds gentle at the roots of yank environmentalism. He offers an summary of the early a long time of either source conservation and desert renovation, discussing how Marsh, Thoreau, Muir, and Powell helped outline the problems that all started altering the nation's attitudes towards its surroundings by way of 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 file at the Lands of the Arid area exhibit their authors' impact on environmental idea and politics even as much as the current day.
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Additional info for A word for nature: four pioneering environmental advocates, 1845-1913
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.
The postwar emphasis on environmental protection may be seen as the latest stage in an ever-expanding awareness of the damage that humans may do to the natural world and to themselves in their interdependence with nature. I sometimes define the word "environmentalism" in a broader sense because the tradition has itself broadened. This advent of environmental concern in the national awareness is typically presented as a shift in fundamental ethical assumptions, and here again the conventional terminology of environmental historiography and journalism is helpful and will be invoked in this book.
It was said of such people that they were made of stern stuff, that they bore misfortune well. Three times in a decade the bridge was carried off, and three times the elder Marsh rebuilt it. Perhaps in those floods he saw a test of faith, or perhaps he did not want his turnpike blocked. George Perkins Marsh was born in the opening year of the nineteenth century, and thus he could never be his father's son. During his eighty-one years Marsh lived a life that was multifarious even by the standards of a frontier country.