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Benton MacKaye: Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail [Copertina flessibile]

Larry Anderson

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Descrizione del libro

22 ottobre 2008 Creating the North American Landscape
Planner and originator of the Appalachian Trail and a cofounder of the Wilderness Society, Benton MacKaye (1879-1975) was a pioneer in linking the concepts of preservation and recreation. Spanning three-quarters of a century, his long and productive career had a major impact on emerging movements in conservation, environmentalism, and regional planning. MacKaye's seminal ideas on outdoor recreation, wilderness protection, land-use planning, community development, and transportation have inspired generations of activists, professionals, and adventurers seeking to strike a harmonious balance between human need and the natural environment. This pathbreaking biography provides the first complete portrait of this significant and unique figure in American environmental, intellectual, and cultural history. Drawing on extensive research, Larry Anderson traces MacKaye's extensive career, examines his many published works, and describes the importance of MacKaye's relationships with such influential figures as Lewis Mumford, Aldo Leopold, and Walter Lippmann. This book will appeal to students, scholars, and professionals in preservation, conservation, recreation, planning, and American studies, as well as general readers interested in these subjects.

Descrizione prodotto

Recensione

This is an important book both because this is the first biography of Benton MacKaye and because it explores the philosophy behind the Appalachian Trail.

(Carol Niedzialek Potomac Appalachian)

In the first comprehensive biography of MacKaye, Larry Anderson does an impressive job of bringing an enigmatic figure into sharper focus and shedding light on the long list of important contributions MacKaye made to the American environmental movement... A readable, engrossing biography.

(Lucille Stott Appalachia)

Larry Anderson's splendid biography of Benton MacKaye recounts the life of an American pioneer in regional and recreational planning, wilderness preservation, and environmental thought... A first-rate biography of a unique American thinker. Throughout, Anderson ably places MacKaye in political, cultural, and environmental contexts and reveals the reciprocal influences among MacKaye, Mumford, Stein, and others.

(Mark Harvey Journal of American History)

Anderson's thoroughly researched book is the first complete biography of MacKaye.

(Choice)

Benton MacKaye was a visionary whose original ideas deserve to be better known among contemporary planners, and this first detailed biography of MacKaye should become the standard account of his life and work.

(Randall Arendt APA Journal)

A superb and much-anticipated biography of Benton MacKaye. Rich in detail (a sign of Anderson's diligent research) and smart in its analysis (an indication of his supple intellect), the book brings the often-quirky MacKaye to life. In weaving together his subject's private worries and public activism, Anderson has given us the definitive and first full biographical treatment of MacKaye, a remarkable achievement.

(Char Miller Journal of Forestry)

This biography provides the first complete portrait of a significant and unique figure in American environmental history. Drawing on extensive research, Larry Anderson traces MacKaye's extensive career, examines his many published works, and describes the importance of MacKaye's relationships with such influential figures as Lewis Mumford, Aldo Leopold, and Walter Lippmann.

(Association of Partners for Public Lands News and Notes)

Anderson's close biography fleshes out MacKaye's intellectually fascinating although sometimes physically trying and emotionally harrowing life... Anderson ties together the many strands of MacKaye's long life and his many enduring friendships and associations.

(Ed Zahniser Friends of Allegheny Wilderness)

As much a biography of MacKaye's intellectual journey as it is a life story... It is unimaginable—after reading 400 pages of text and 50 pages of footnotes, scholarly in appearance and journalistic in approach—that an extant piece of writing by or about MacKaye has since escaped Anderson's attentions.

(Brian B. King Appalachian Trailway News)

A detailed and sympathetic biography of visionary planner Benton MacKaye.

(Planning)

Anderson's lucid, well-researched, and sensitive story provides an illuminating on-the-ground snapshot of the inner workings of the intellectual networks, social relationships, governmental and business institutions, particular projects, and downright good and bad luck that constitute the fabric of historical movements such as conservation and regional planning.

(Steven J. Holmes Environmental History)

This is a book that thoughtful hikers will enjoy.

(NH Forum)

There is no biography of Benton MacKaye and this is likely to become the standard work on this important American for many years. It is a major contribution to the history of the development of the wilderness conservation and recreation movement, as well as a thorough and engaging account of the life and work of one of its most innovative leaders.

(Kermit C. Parsons, Cornell University)

Larry Anderson has written an excellent book, meticulously researched and well organized. The scholarship is impeccable. Environmental, intellectual, and planning historians will all find this biography an invaluable addition to the literature.

(Paul Shriver Sutter, University of Georgia, author of Driven Wild: How the Fight Against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement)

Dalla quarta di copertina

Planner and originator of the Appalachian Trail and a cofounder of the Wilderness Society, Benton MacKaye (1879-1975) was a pioneer in linking the concepts of preservation, recreation, and regional planning. This pathbreaking biography provides the first complete portrait of this significant and unique figure in American environmental, intellectual, and cultural history.

"A superb and much-anticipated biography of Benton MacKaye. Rich in detail (a sign of Anderson's diligent research) and smart in its analysis (an indication of his supple intellect), the book brings the often-quirky MacKaye to life... A remarkable achievement."— Journal of Forestry

"A first-rate biography of a unique American thinker."— Journal of American History

"Anderson does an impressive job of bringing an enigmatic figure into sharper focus and shedding light on the long list of important contributions MacKaye made to the American environmental movement... A readable, engrossing biography."— Appalachia

"Anderson's lucid, well-researched, and sensitive story provides an illuminating on-the-ground snapshot of the inner workings of the intellectual networks, social relationships, governmental and business institutions, particular projects, and downright good and bad luck that constitute the fabric of historical movements such as conservation and regional planning."— Environmental History

"This first detailed biography of MacKaye should become the standard account of his life and work."— APA Journal

Larry Anderson is a freelance writer and independent scholar.


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Amazon.com: 4.0 su 5 stelle  1 recensione
13 di 13 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle One person CAN make a difference 4 marzo 2003
Di Corinne H. Smith - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina rigida
Perhaps you're familiar with the name Benton MacKaye (1879-1975); at the very least, you've heard of the Appalachian Trail. You might see the title of this book and say, "Oh, OK, he was the guy who thought up the idea for a footpath from Maine to Georgia. Big deal. I've never stepped on it, so why should I care about him?" Well, without Benton MacKaye, we probably wouldn't have the Trail. We might not have a Wilderness Society, the Wilderness Act of 1964, the National Trail Systems Act of 1968, or the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. We might not have Shenandoah National Park in Virginia or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddling the Tennessee-North Carolina border. We could instead have just interstate highways crowning the entire length of the eastern mountain range. We could conceivably have uninterrupted suburbia from the Atlantic coastline to the Midwest, with little consideration given to the mountains or any natural area in between. Benton MacKaye might very well be one of the most influential 20th-century American environmentalists you've never heard of.
A New Englander with a Harvard graduate degree in forestry, MacKaye spent most of his professional life taking a variety of short-term government or association jobs that dealt with conservation issues. Eventually he carved a niche for himself as an outspoken regional planner. He was adept at writing articles and proposing legislation that included catchy words or concepts: geotechnics, new exploration, townless highways, highwayless towns, watershed democracies, wildland belts, and habitability. For MacKaye was at heart a boy who loved to wander through the natural landscape of central Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. In the early 1900s, he was already worried about increasing numbers of motorists invading those wild spaces, particularly into the region's mountainous areas. He spent the majority of his life fighting to keep those places "sound-proof as well as sight-proof" from the intrusion of contemporary civilization. In some ways, he was the Thoreau of his day.
The formal publication of "The Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning" (included here as an appendix) came to fruition in 1921, and it laid the foundation for the rest of his articles and essays. We who consider ourselves environmentalists today find his words still striking an inner chord. MacKaye wrote in the 1950s: "Verily, the first and simplest rule on earth: Give back to the earth that which we take from her. Return the good we have borrowed; in short, pay our ecological bills. Pay them in dirt, not dollars. It's the only currency the good earth accepts. Too long have we lived on dollar ecology." (p. 336) Yes, Mr. MacKaye, yes. Let's shout that one from the mountaintops, if we can still find them.
Anderson is admirably neutral in presenting the facts and interpreting MacKaye's connections with and influences on more "famous" individuals like Lewis Mumford, Aldo Leopold, Bob Marshall, and Olaus Murie. That must have been a tough job indeed, since the author obviously spent a huge amount of time with his subject. The resulting details are valuable to have compiled into one volume but might limit readership to scholars of the AT or of the environmental movement. With every turn of a page, though, his chronicle of MacKaye's endeavors brings home a basic truth that still holds today: that every environmental debate is a political one. We can be either encouraged or chagrined by that knowledge.

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