engineering eden the true story of a violent death a trial and the fight over controlling nature

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Engineering Eden

Author : Jordan Fisher Smith
ISBN : 9780307454287
Genre : Science
File Size : 66. 13 MB
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The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks. When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. The proceedings drew to the witness stand some of the most important figures in twentieth century wilderness management, including the eminent zoologist A. Starker Leopold, who had produced a landmark conservationist document in the 1950s, and all-American twin researchers John and Frank Craighead, who ran groundbreaking bear studies at Yellowstone. Their testimony would help decide whether the government owed the Walker family restitution for Harry's death, but it would also illuminate decades of patchwork efforts to preserve an idea of nature that had never existed in the first place. In this remarkable excavation of American environmental history, nature writer and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith uses Harry Walker's story to tell the larger narrative of the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Tracing a course from the founding of the national parks through the tangled twentieth-century growth of the conservationist movement, Smith gives the lie to the portrayal of national parks as Edenic wonderlands unspoiled until the arrival of Europeans, and shows how virtually every attempt to manage nature in the parks has only created cascading effects that require even more management. Moving across time and between Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks, Engineering Eden shows how efforts at wilderness management have always been undone by one fundamental problem--that the idea of what is "wild" dissolves as soon as we begin to examine it, leaving us with little framework to say what wilderness should look like and which human interventions are acceptable in trying to preserve it. In the tradition of John McPhee's The Control of Nature and Alan Burdick's Out of Eden, Jordan Fisher Smith has produced a powerful work of popular science and environmental history, grappling with critical issues that we have even now yet to resolve.

Nature Noir

Author : Jordan Fisher Smith
ISBN : 0618711953
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 67. 90 MB
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A park ranger shares his experiences on the edge of civilization in the Sierras, including his confrontations with criminals and extreme sports enthusiasts, and his gruesome discovery of a female jogger who had been killed and partially consumed by a mountain lion. Reprint.

Bloodland

Author : Dennis McAuliffe
ISBN : 1571780831
Genre : History
File Size : 42. 4 MB
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Journalist Dennis McAuliffe, Jr. opens old family wounds and ultimately exposes a widespread murder conspiracy and shameful episode in American history.

Mississippi

Author : Anthony Walton
ISBN : 9780307488312
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 92 MB
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To most Americans, Mississippi is not a state but a scar, the place where segregation took its ugliest form and struck most savagely at its challengers. But to many Americans, Mississippi is also home. And it is this paradox, with all its overtones of history and heartache, that Anthony Walton—whose parents escaped Mississippi for the relative civility of the Midwest—explores in this resonant and disquieting work of travel writing, history, and memoir. Traveling from the Natchez Trace to the yawning cotton fields of the Delta and from plantation houses to air-conditioned shopping malls, Walton challenged us to see Mississippi's memories of comfort alongside its legacies of slavery and the Klan. He weaves in the stories of his family, as well as those of patricians and sharecroppers, redneck demagogues and martyred civil rights workers, novelists and bluesmen, black and white. Mississippi is a national saga in brilliant microcosm, splendidly written and profoundly moving. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Not In Front Of The Children

Author : Marjorie Heins
ISBN : 9780813543888
Genre : Law
File Size : 50. 57 MB
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From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, from Internet filters to the v-chip, censorship exercised on behalf of children and adolescents is often based on the assumption that they must be protected from “indecent” information that might harm their development—whether in art, in literature, or on a Web site. But where does this assumption come from, and is it true? In Not in Front of the Children, Marjorie Heins explores the fascinating history of “indecency” laws and other restrictions aimed at protecting youth. From Plato’s argument for rigid censorship, through Victorian laws aimed at repressing libidinous thoughts, to contemporary battles over sex education in public schools and violence in the media, Heins guides us through what became, and remains, an ideological minefield. With fascinating examples drawn from around the globe, she suggests that the “harm to minors” argument rests on shaky foundations.

Imperial San Francisco

Author : Gray Brechin
ISBN : 9780520933484
Genre : History
File Size : 48. 9 MB
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First published in 1999, this celebrated history of San Francisco traces the exploitation of both local and distant regions by prominent families—the Hearsts, de Youngs, Spreckelses, and others—who gained power through mining, ranching, water and energy, transportation, real estate, weapons, and the mass media. The story uncovered by Gray Brechin is one of greed and ambition on an epic scale. Brechin arrives at a new way of understanding urban history as he traces the connections between environment, economy, and technology and discovers links that led, ultimately, to the creation of the atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race. In a new preface, Brechin considers the vulnerability of cities in the post-9/11 twenty-first century.

Mining California

Author : Andrew C. Isenberg
ISBN : 0374707200
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 56 MB
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An environmental History of California during the Gold Rush Between 1849 and 1874 almost $1 billion in gold was mined in California. With little available capital or labor, here's how: high-pressure water cannons washed hillsides into sluices that used mercury to trap gold but let the soil wash away; eventually more than three times the amount of earth moved to make way for the Panama Canal entered California's rivers, leaving behind twenty tons of mercury every mile—rivers overflowed their banks and valleys were flooded, the land poisoned. In the rush to wealth, the same chain of foreseeable consequences reduced California's forests and grasslands. Not since William Cronon's Nature's Metropolis has a historian so skillfully applied John Muir's insight—"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe"—to the telling of the history of the American West. Beautifully told, this is western environmental history at its finest.

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