VOYA - Ann T. Reddy-DamonIn a series that includes books on controversial issues of abortion, the environment, gay rights, genetic engineering, and immigration, each volume presents a fascinating look at how these issues have evolved-and stayed the same-throughout America's history. The Environment sets up the divide between the conservationist and the protectionist movements as starting with the alliance between John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. Using primary sources by Henry David Thoreau and Theodore Roosevelt, the roots of conservation are eloquently set forth while Benjamin Kline explains how Muir and Pinchot became vehement opponents over the Hetch Hetchy Dam project of 1913. Caula A. Beyl's essay on Rachel Carson's Silent Spring brings the issue into the mid-twentieth century. Richard Nixon's legacy of the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the passing of the Clean Air and Water Acts brings the debate to the 1970s. Dave Foreman calls for a radical activist approach to preservation while Robert D. Bullard points out that pollution and environmental problems target the poor and racial minorities to a greater extent. The issue enters the global environment in the 1990s and leaves the reader with a balanced presentation of both sides. One can easily recommend this series for libraries needing to update their social science section to tie current controversial issues with their historic evolution.
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