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The American Environmental Movement

The American Environmental Movement

by Rebecca Stefoff

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-In a sympathetic, yet objective manner, Stefoff presents the history and prospects of the American environmental movement in somewhat greater depth than comparable books on the topic. Her chronological approach effectively outlines the development of Euro-American attitudes toward the land. Contrasting Native Americans' lifestyles with those of the rapacious colonists and settlers, she also introduces such early conservationists as Thomas Jefferson. Other chapters depict the development of American industry and the devastated landscapes it created; early naturalists; the rise of the wilderness movement and its champion, Theodore Roosevelt; and later conservationists. Particularly insightful are the author's accounts of Rachel Carson's work and of the origins and evolution of the National Wildlife Federation and other organizations. She covers the rise and apparent decline of the newer forms of environmental organizations quite objectively, with portraits of some of the most prominent leaders and effective quotes from some opponents. The author's style is clear and accessible, and she documents all quotations. An excellent annotated bibliography and a list of agencies and organizations are included, but there are only a few rather dark black-and-white photographs and reproductions. Sylvia Whitman's This Land Is Your Land (Lerner, 1994), aimed at a slightly lower grade level, is a more ``visual'' treatment, with even more action-oriented language. Cathryn Jakobson's Think about the Environment (Walker, 1992) has two chapters that briefly discuss some of the issues Stefoff treats, like changes in the frontier mentality and monkey-wrenching. Stefoff fills out and updates both of these books quite well.-Jonathan Betz-Zall, Sno-Isle Regional Library System, Edmonds, WA
Mary Harris Veeder
The prologue focuses on the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, but Stefoff's perspective on environmental activism in America is much broader, from the fifteenth century to the present. Nineteenth-and twentieth-century activities receive most of the attention, and Stefoff has done a good job of discussing prominent figures and incidents in the environmental movement. She's also larded the text with quotes and book titles and included an extensive listing of further readings. Unfortunately, photographs are few and the notation system (no superscripts but a list of "notes" at a chapter's end) is confusing.

Product Details

Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
Social Reform Movements Series
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years


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