To Save the Earth

Overview

The American environmental movement stretches back over a century of activism and hard work. Four extraordinary Americans stand at its heart: John Muir, a pioneer of conservationism, was the founder of our national park system. Rachel Carson, biologist and author, brought widespread attention to the effects of pesticides and chemical wastes. David McTaggert, the organizer of Greenpeace, introduced the tactic of non-violent resistance into the struggle, while Dave Foreman, co-founder and former leader of the ...
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Overview

The American environmental movement stretches back over a century of activism and hard work. Four extraordinary Americans stand at its heart: John Muir, a pioneer of conservationism, was the founder of our national park system. Rachel Carson, biologist and author, brought widespread attention to the effects of pesticides and chemical wastes. David McTaggert, the organizer of Greenpeace, introduced the tactic of non-violent resistance into the struggle, while Dave Foreman, co-founder and former leader of the activist group Earth First!, shook up a movement that had grown complacent. Engaging biographies of all four, highlighted by the authorÆs interviews with McTaggert and Foreman, place each in historical context, while Archer explains where the movement has been, and what the issues will be in the future. Numerous details and incidents vividly evoke the social climate. ùKirkus Reviews for They Had a Dream Jules Archer lives in Scotts Valley, California.

Presents a brief history of the environmental movement and accounts of the work of four environmental activists: John Muir, Rachel Carson, David McTaggart, and Dave Foreman.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Carol Buchanan
Archer's book contains biographies of four "movers and shakers" of the environmental movement, beginning with John Muir, founder of the National Park System, who worked to prevent developers from destroying our country's natural beauty. Rachel Carson alerted the world to the dangers of pesticides and insecticides through her writing and speeches. David McTaggart founded the Greenpeace movement, which espoused non-violent resistance as a means of preserving our seas and its creatures. Earth First!'s founder, Dave Forman, and its members took more provocative and confrontational actions, such as chaining themselves to trees and blocking company vehicles to prevent government and business from cutting down forests and drilling for oil. Each biography is approximately forty pages long and begins with information about the pioneer's personal life, but emphasis is on the passionate and tenacious work necessary to prevent both industry and government from destroying our environment out of ignorance or a drive for profit. This book is a good starting point for young people who wish to become knowledgeable about the environmental movement. Appealing black-and-white photos enrich the text. A very informative history beginning in the nineteenth century follows the biographies. The book concludes with a brief chapter about present day problems and possible citizen action. Archer speaks from the environmentalist's point of view only-defense of government actions or business interests, if there is any, will have to be found elsewhere. Index. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In a very readable, balanced and informative way, the author presents four brave Americans, John Muir, Rachel Carson, David McTaggart and Dave Foreman, and shows us how they devoted a good part of their lives to trying to "save the earth." The sections on McTaggart and Foreman include material gathered from interviews by the author. Two final chapters deal with the history of the American Environmental Movement and the fight to save the earth today and in the future. An introduction, index, bibliography and list of environmental organizations and their addresses are included.
Kirkus Reviews
Archer (A House Divided, 1994, etc.) offers brief biographies of four people he considers "central to the American Environmental Movement" along with succinct coverage of the history of that movement. The lives of John Muir, founder of the National Park System; Rachel Carson, scientist and author of Silent Spring and other titles; Canadian David McTaggert, organizer of Greenpeace; and Dave Foreman, former head of Earth First! are covered in approximately 60 pages each. While the sections on Muir and Carson (a shy, methodical scientist who might be surprised to find herself in the company of such extroverted eccentrics) are pedestrian compared to other available accounts, firsthand interviews with McTaggert and Foreman yielded lively and exciting coverage. That coverage, however, is one-sided as McTaggert recounts his battles to save the animals and the environment from hunters, poachers, and nuclear explosions, and Foreman is linked to spiking trees and sabotaging logging equipment while hotly denying accusations of conspiracy to cut the power lines to the Central Arizona Power plant. Archer relies on such reports, leaving readers to search elsewhere for more balanced information. The title is already dated with references to Love Canal as largely a ghost town, and the last threat of nuclear explosion ending with France in 1995. For those doing research, the volume has a good bibliography but is limited by vague sourcing: "Also consulted were PBS TV documentaries, and articles in and news from: ACLU; Alternatives; American Forests; American Historical Review "þa list that includes House Beautiful, Utne Reader, and 75 others. (b&w photos, index, not seen) (Nonfiction.10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670871216
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Series: Epoch Biographies Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.82 (d)

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