1st Edition

Natural Protest Essays on the History of American Environmentalism

Edited By Michael Egan, Jeff Crane Copyright 2009
    344 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    344 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    From Jamestown to 9/11, concerns about the landscape, husbanding of natural resources, and the health of our environment have been important to the American way of life. Natural Protest is the first collection of original essays to offer a cohesive social and political examination of environmental awareness, activism, and justice throughout American history. Editors Michael Egan and Jeff Crane have selected the finest new scholarship in the field, establishing this complex and fascinating subject firmly at the forefront of American historical study.

    Focused and thought-provoking, Natural Protest presents a cutting-edge perspective on American environmentalism and environmental history, providing an invaluable resource for anyone concerned about the ecological fate of the world around us.

    List of figures, Contributors, Acknowledgments, Introduction, Chapter 1 “Fancy Foreshadowed a Magnificent Destiny”: The Market Revolution and the Kennebec River Dam Fight, Chapter 2 Organizing Environmental Protest: Swill Milk and Social Activism in Nineteenth-Century New York City, Chapter 3 “That Shocking Calamity”: Revisiting George Catlin’s Environmental Politics, Chapter 4 “The Science-Spirit in a Democracy”: Liberty Hyde Bailey, Nature Study, and the Democratic Impulse of Progressive Conservation, Chapter 5 The Hetch Hetchy Controversy, Chapter 6 Rethinking Reclamation: How an Alliance of Duck Hunters and Cattle Ranchers Brought Wetland Conservation to California’s Central Valley Project, Chapter 7 A Twisted Road to Earth Day: Air Pollution as an Issue of Social Movements after World War II, Chapter 8 A Call to Action: Silent Spring, Public Disclosure, and the Rise of Modern Environmentalism, Chapter 9 Ball of Confusion: Public Health, African Americans, and Earth Day 1970, Chapter 10 “Save French Pete”: Evolution of Wilderness Protests in Oregon, Chapter 11 Parting the Waters: The Ecumenical Task Force at Love Canal and Beyond, Chapter 12 Cancer Valley, California: Pesticides, Politics, and Childhood Disease in the Central Valley, Chapter 13 “It Seems Like We Should Be on the Same Side!”: Native Americans, Environmentalists, and the Grand Canyon, Index


    Michael Egan is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the director of the Sustainable Future History Project at McMaster University. He is the author of Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival: The Remaking of American Environmentalism.

    Jeff Crane is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Sam Houston State University.

    "Crane and Egan have signposted the long path of environmental activism in American history, from the early Republic to the day before yesterday. Everyone interested in environmentalism in the U.S. will want to know these stories, and grasp the larger picture that Crane and Egan present."

    J.R. McNeill, author of Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the 20th-Century World

    "Natural Protest brings together contributions that expand our understanding of the multiple currents within environmentalism, both past and present, and provide a fresh lens in looking at some of the critical battles and efforts to expand the discourse that have made environmentalism such a complex, exciting, and continually evolving social movement."

    Robert Gottlieb, author of Reinventing Los Angeles: Nature and Community in the Global City

    "The essays in Natural Protest push readers to think harder about the rich history of American environmental activism.  Because the authors mostly are up-and-coming scholars, this collection also gives a first taste of wonderful work to come."

    Adam Rome, author of The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism