Battles of the North Country: Wilderness Politics and Recreational Development in the Adirondack State Park, 1920-1980

Battles of the North Country: Wilderness Politics and Recreational Development in the Adirondack State Park, 1920-1980

by Jonathan D. Anzalone


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, June 24


The Adirondack region is trapped in a cycle of conflict. Nature lovers advocate for the preservation of wilderness, while sports enthusiasts demand infrastructure for recreation. Local residents seek economic opportunities, while environmentalists fight industrial or real estate growth. These clashes have played out over the course of the twentieth century and continue into the twenty-first.

Through a series of case studies, historian Jonathan D. Anzalone highlights the role of public and private interests in the region and shows how partnerships frayed and realigned in the course of several key developments: the rise of camping in the 1920s and 1930s; the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics; the construction of a highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain; the postwar rise of downhill skiing; the completion of I-87 and the resulting demand for second homes; and the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Battles of the North Country reveals how class, economic self-interest, state power, and a wide range of environmental concerns have shaped modern politics in the Adirondacks and beyond.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625343642
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 11/04/2018
Series: Environmental History of the Northeast
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jonathan D. Anzalone is lecturer and assistant director at the Center for News Literacy in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: The Adirondack Park as a Modern Wilderness Playground 1

Chapter 1 Olympic Transformations, Part I: The Re-creation of Recreation and the 1932 Winter Games in Lake Placid 11

Chapter 2 Cities of Tents: Development of Adirondack Campgrounds during the Interwar Years 36

Chapter 3 A Mountain to Climb: The Transformation of Whiteface Mountain and the Future of the Adirondacks, 1925-1945 61

Chapter 4 A Mountain for All Seasons?: New York State and Skiing on Whiteface Mountain, 1945-1971 82

Chapter 5 Adirondack Sprawl: From the Northway to the Creation of the Adirondack Park Agency, 1959-1972 105

Chapter 6 "There Was Once an Adirondack Park": The Struggle over the Exutbanization of the Adirondack Park, 1971-1980 135

Chapter 7 Olympic Transformations, Part II: The 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid 171

Conclusion 203

Notes 209

Index 267

What People are Saying About This

James C. O'Connell

Anzalone skillfully describes complex legal, political, and real estate issues, presenting them as an engaging story of the evolving conflict between environmental protection and development interests.

David Soll

In this engagingly written book, Anzalone explores the efforts of residents, environmentalists, state officials, and developers to shape the ecology and economy of the Adirondacks. His case studies reveal uncomfortable truths about the economic limitations of recreational development in one of America's most contested and beautiful landscapes.

Richard W. Judd

Anzalone's strength is a capacity for depicting all sides in the controversy around development clearly and dispassionately and in a broader context of regional economic stagnation and remoteness from centers of entrepreneurial opportunity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews