DeVoto's West: History, Conservation, and the Public Good

Overview

Social commentator and preeminent Western historian Bernard DeVoto vigorously defended public lands in the West against commercial interests. At his death in 1955, DeVoto had won both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes. But he was most famous for his eloquent writing that advocated conservation of America's prairies, rangeland, forests, mountains, canyons, and deserts.DeVoto's West: Essays on History, Conservation, and the Public Good showcases the complexity, depth, and breadth of DeVoto's thinking. Editor Edward ...

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Overview

Social commentator and preeminent Western historian Bernard DeVoto vigorously defended public lands in the West against commercial interests. At his death in 1955, DeVoto had won both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes. But he was most famous for his eloquent writing that advocated conservation of America's prairies, rangeland, forests, mountains, canyons, and deserts.DeVoto's West: Essays on History, Conservation, and the Public Good showcases the complexity, depth, and breadth of DeVoto's thinking. Editor Edward K. Muller introduces these twenty-two essays (many of which originally appeared in Harper's renowned column The Easy Chair) that passionately and coherently advocate federal control for vast tracts of public land. DeVoto addressed many issues, including the plundering of resources by absentee eastern corporations, Westerners' conflicted relationship to exploitation, and the degradation of the national parks. He believed that conservation of natural resources in the West required government control of public lands against livestock associations, timber interests, and their congressional allies who plotted the privatization of the national forests and the extraction of resources in the national parks. DeVoto's West collects the best of DeVoto's conservation pieces for the first time. It will introduce a new generation to prose that has retained its relevance and remains a remarkably current and timely argument for protecting public lands. Bernard DeVoto was born in Ogden, Utah, in 1897. He spent his adult life in the East, first teaching English at Northwestern University, Chicago, then living in New York, and finally settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the subject of an acclaimed biography, The Uneasy Chair, by Wallace Stegner.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804010733
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard DeVoto was born in Ogden, Utah, in 1897. He spent his adult life in the East, first teaching English at Northwestern University, Chicago, then living in New York, and finally settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the subject of an acclaimed biography, The Uneasy Chair, by Wallace Stegner. The editor, Edward K. Muller, is a professor of history and director of the Urban Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has written widely on the historical geography of American cities and is co-editor of The Atlas of Pennsylvania and North-America: the Historical Geography of a Changing Continent (second edition).

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Table of Contents

1 DeVoto's West 1
Footnote on the West (1927) 3
Fossil remnants of the frontier (1935) 18
The West : a plundered province (1934) 34
The anxious West (1946) 46
The High Country (1952) 64
2 The western land grab, 1940s 73
The West against itself (1947) 75
The western land grab (1947) 98
U.S. Forest Service and the western land grab (1948) 105
Sacred cows and public lands (1948) 113
Statesmen on the lam (1948) 136
3 Desert, water, and the West 145
The West (1947) 147
Flood in the desert (1952) 154
Our hundred year plan (1950) 162
And fractions drive me mad (1954) 171
4 Protection of the national parks 179
National Park Service (1949) 181
Shall we let them ruin our national parks? (1950) 189
Let's close the national parks (1953) 203
Intramural giveaway (1954) 211
5 The western land grab, 1950s 219
Two-gun Desmond is back (1951) 221
An old steal refurbished (1952) 229
Conservation : down and on the way out (1954) 237
One-way partnership derailed (1955) 254
A bibliography of DeVoto's West 263
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