The founding chief of the U.S. Forest Service and twice governor of Pennsylvania, Gifford Pinchot was central to the early twentieth-century conservation movement in the United States and the political history and evolution of the Keystone State. This collection of Pinchot's essays, articles, and letters reveals a gifted public figure whose work and thoughts on the environment, politics, society, and science remain startlingly relevant today.
A learned man and admirably accessible writer, Pinchot showed keen insight on issues as wide-ranging as the rights of women and minorities, war, education, Prohibition, agricultural policy, land use, and the craft of politics. He developed galvanizing arguments against the unregulated exploitation of natural resources, made a clear case for thinking globally but acting locally, railed at the pernicious impact of corporate power on democratic life, and firmly believed that governments were obligated to enhance public health, increase economic opportunity, and sustain the land. Pinchot's policy accomplishments-including the first clean-water legislation in Pennsylvania and the nation-speak to his effectiveness as a communicator and a politician. His observations on environmental issues were exceptionally prescient, as they anticipated the dilemmas currently confronting those who shape environmental public policy.
Introduced and annotated by environmental historian Char Miller, this is the only comprehensive collection of Pinchot's writings. Those interested in the history of conservation, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, American politics, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will find this book invaluable.
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
"Despite Gifford Pinchot's high-profile reputation as a founder of American conservation, most scholars have likely read few of his own writings. With these well-chosen documents from Pinchot's own hand, Char Miller provides a window onto Pinchot's thinking about rivers, soils, minerals, agriculture, forestry, and public stewardship of natural resources during a time of sweeping change."
--Mark Harvey, author of Wilderness Forever
"A valuable contribution that will significantly enhance our knowledge and awareness of one of the nation's leading intellectuals in land use. Char Miller has thoughtfully collected and organized the writings that capture the ideas and development of arguably the most important mind in the American conservation tradition."
--Brian C. Black, author of Gettysburg Contested and Crude Reality: Petroleum in World History
"One might say that many of [Pinchot's] opinions (spoken or written in the earlier parts of the 1900s) are contemporary and suited for analysis today. Highly recommended for libraries, schools, and personal libraries."
--Al Holliday, Pennsylvania Magazine
"There are [no other books] that have better captured the full depth and complexity of Gifford Pinchot, which Miller has skillfully and respectfully afforded Pinchot an opportunity to convey in his own words."
--V. Alaric Sample, Journal of Forestry
"Gifford Pinchot: Selected Writings has resurrected a number of primary sources and offered them in the service of researchers and scholars. Pinchot's unedited voice and opinions give a rare glimpse into one of America's most significant figures. The collection and Char Miller's commentary deserve and will no doubt receive a strong welcome from researchers of the early twentieth century and environmental history."
--Jameson Karns, Environmental History
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