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Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist in the Arena

Char Miller

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 03/2020
Pages: 258
Subject: History
eBook ISBN: 9781496219831


Theodore Roosevelt's scientific curiosity and love of the outdoors proved a defining force throughout his hectic life as a rancher and explorer, police commissioner and governor of New York, vice president and president of the United States. Conservation and natural history were parts of a whole for this driven, charismatic public servant, and Roosevelt approached the natural world with joy and a passionate engagement. Drawing on an array of approaches—biographical, ecological and environmental, literary and political, Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist in the Arena analyzes this energetic man's manifold encounters with the great outdoors. George Bird Grinnell, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, and William Hornaday were among the many conservationists with whom Roosevelt corresponded, collaborated, hiked, and governed—and in turn, inspired. Together, Roosevelt and his contemporaries developed a progressive argument for the conservation of natural resources as a way to construct a more democratic nation-state. This legacy also comes with some troubling domestic and global implications, as Roosevelt fused his call for the conservation of resources—natural and human, domestically and internationally—with a deep-seated conviction that some were more fit than others to control the world and define its future.  


Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and director of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including America's Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands. Clay S. Jenkinson is Theodore Roosevelt Humanities Scholar and the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University. He is the author of nine books, including The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness.  


"Char Miller and Clay Jenkinson have brought together a remarkable collection of smart essays that is compulsively readable and thought-provoking. It is a volume full of spritely writing and rich insights."—Virginia Scharff, distinguished professor of history emerita, University of New Mexico  

"A marvelous job of reminding the world why Theodore Roosevelt was America's first green president. All the essays included in this volume are first rate. A dazzling addition to Progressive Era and environmental history studies. Highly recommended!"—Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history, Rice University