Thursday, March 3, 2011

Douglas Brinkley

Last month, Douglas Brinkley came to Kepler's to discuss his new book, The Quiet World. Did you miss this event? If you did, you're in luck. Marilyn Stoddard very kindly wrote up her impressions of Mr. Brinkley's presentation. Which I will reproduce for you in a moment, after I point out that you can watch Mr. Brinkley yourself:

On CBS, talking about The Quiet World, here.

And on The Daily Show, with the one and only Jon Stewart, talking about his previous book, Wilderness Warrior:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Douglas Brinkley
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And, now, from Marilyn Stoddard:

Douglas Brinkley has an impressive command of his material.  He spoke in one continuous stream and seamlessly moved from one subject to the next.  He is planning a multi-volume history of the environmental movement, of which this is the second.  The first was Wilderness Warrior, his previous book which focused on Theodore Roosevelt. Brinkley said that TR was the only president we have had who was well versed in biology.  He craved having animals around him and had over 200 pets.  While president, he set up 51 wildlife preserves.  

With Taft and Harding, there was a turn away from preservation.  In the 1920s, extraction industries dominated, but the photography of Ansel Adams helped strengthen eco-tourism as an alternative to the extraction industries. Morris Udall delivered Utah for JFK and went on to be his Secretary of the Interior.  Brinkley describes the second big environmental movement as beginning at this time.  Nixon did not really believe in supporting environmental causes, but he promoted some positive measures.  The Clean Air Act and the EPA began in his administration. 

The book profiles a number of other key figures including Gary Snyder and Rachel Carson.  The book begins with John Muir and his deep connection to Alaska. I was pulled in by the vivid descriptions of him leaping around glaciers in pure delight.

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