An American Idea: The Making of the National Parks
The national park system ranks among our most magnificent achievements and the story of its creation reveals how the American landscape shaped our history and character and continues to do so almost 175 years after painter George Catlin first proposed “a nation's Park.”
In these lavishly illustrated pages, award-winning author Kim Heacox chronicles our changing visions of wildness from the 17th century, when the first settlers built towns around shared commons, to 1916, when the National Park Service initiated a new kind of common–unspoiled parkland held in trust for Americans everywhere.
Here are explorers like Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, and John Wesley Powell, who reported wonders so amazing they were met with disbelief. Here too are farsighted leaders like Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and other sponsors of such parks as Yosemite and Yellowstone.
In spectacular counterpoint, 100 illustrations unveil a pristine new world that awed the artists and photographers from Eadweard Muybridge to Ansel Adams. An epilogue summarizes developments since 1916, and an appendix provides descriptions of every national park. A tale of discovery and an eloquent testament to our unparalleled natural glories, this is more than an account of our national parks: it's a telling portrait of the essential America.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Society and Americas National Parks
Other editions - View all
Acreage Acrººge Alaska American West amid Ansel Adams artist Basin beauty became Biosphere Reserve Breathing Place California called camp century Civil Clark Congress conservation Crater Lake created Dakota desert early Earth ecological Emerson Established expedition explored father feet Folsom forests Frémont frontier Geological George Catlin geysers Glacier Grand Canyon Grand Good Thing Gunnison Hayden Hetch Hetchy Hudson River School human Indians inspired islands Jefferson John James Audubon John Muir John Wesley Powell Land of Rural landscape Langford later Leatherstocking lived miles million Missouri Montana monuments Mount National Lung National Park Service nature never North º º Olmsted painting PARK AND PRESERVE park managers party photographer President protect Rocky Mountains Roosevelt route Rural Virtue scenery scenic Sellars Sequoia species survey Thomas Moran Thoreau tion tourists trails traveled trees visitors volcano Washington wild wilderness wildlife William Henry Jackson World Heritage site Yosemite Valley young